The choirs of heaven gained a new lead singer this week with the sad passing of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.

As I pondered the legacy of this remarkable artist, one quote from her stood out:

“What is auto-tune? I don’t even know what auto-tune is.”

What strikes me about this line is that it doesn’t mean that she didn’t need something like auto-tune because she never missed a note.

It means that as an artist, Aretha understood that authenticity beats perfection.

In an era when so many strive to get everything just right before it’s released to the masses, she understood that people related to the heart and passion that she brought to her music.

We related to it and we loved her for it.

It made the hairs stand up on the backs of our necks.

It made us feel what she was singing.

You don’t need auto-tune either.

You don’t need everything to be perfect.

We just need you to be authentic.

Real.

Flawed.

Relatable.

An artist.

Thanks Aretha, not just for your voice, but for your heart.

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