‘He was a motivator, an innovator’: The Chicago pastor who helped Aretha Franklin find her voice

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“Music will save your life,” said Rev James Cleveland to Aretha Franklin, who was just nine when her mother died of a heart attack in 1952. The Chicago pastor and gospel musician sat before a piano with the future star, teaching her some of her first gospel songs. She would come to see him as one of the biggest influences of her life.

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