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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Malco Theaters will be hosting an advance screening of “Respect” at the Paradiso this week. Starring Jennifer Hudson as the “Queen of Soul” herself, “Respect” is set to hit theaters nationwide August 13.

Aretha Franklin passed away in 2018. However, prior to passing away, she was notified that she would be inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. Later that year, the Queen of Soul was posthumously placed alongside her fellow legends in the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.

This new feature film shares the life story, struggles and accomplishments of one of America’s greatest musicians. It chronicles her rise from humble origins singing in her father’s church to global superstardom.

This screening is due in part to the Memphis Music Hall of Fame campaign to have the screening in Memphis as a tribute to the legendary singer.

Her music has inspired more than feature length motion picture. It has influenced and inspired generations of artists both locally and globally.

One organization apart of this effort is the Memphis Music Initiative, located behind the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and one block from the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. They invest in youth development through transformative music engagement, creating equitable opportunities for black and brown youth in Memphis. 

AngelStreet helps educate girls by providing musical training in communities with limited artistic opportunities. Their staff and volunteers empower young women to understand their value, discover their purpose, and become creatively equipped to serve the Memphis community as leaders. 

Not far from where Aretha Franklin was born, the Stax Music Academy is teaching classes in music theory, preparing children to read music with proficiency, read and perform all twelve major and minor scales, and apply harmonic analysis to a musical selection. This musically tailored education helps students develop skills and abilities for a future career in music.

Memphis Music Hall of Fame Executive Director John Doyle tells us how important it is for girls, “It’s proof that they, too, can accomplish anything… and these organizations doing incredible work within Memphis’ underserved communities are consistently providing these young people with the tools, encouragement and creativity to embrace music in their own lives.”

A testament of strength herself, the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin’s example lives on to inspire many more generations of musicians to come.