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Melissa Etheridge: A woman of soul is a woman who
understands that music changes the spirit, music
heals the spirit, music, and singing, and using
that emotion, that energy that is music, to take
your voice and reach out and touch another human
being in their spirit.
That's the power of soul.
Amy Keys: Probably, most women of soul had a little
bit of turbulence in the beginning, but women
of soul are ones who persevere through that,
and persevere above all of that, and end up like
icons, like Ms. Patty LeBelle.
Or Ms. (inaudible) -- Ms. Aretha Franklin
that we're on stage with.
Jory Steinberg: It's an honor to be a part
of this, and to be up close.
I mean, you know, Ms. Patty LeBelle
in front of me singing.
You know, these songs that I known my whole life,
and the same thing with Aretha Franklin.
And it's just, it's really a blessing to be that
close to something that is so much a part of who
I am and who I become over my years of being
a musician and an artist.
Melissa Etheridge: I'm going to play
a song by Gladys Knight.
I'm going to do "Neither One of Us,"
which just wrecks me every time I hear it,
and I'm so happy to be singing it.
Nicki Richards: I listen to "Neither One of Us"
by Gladys Knight and I have the same
reaction every time.
It sounds like she is not going to make it.
She's not showboating.
She's just giving you her truth, and that kind
of passion, that's soul.
I don't care what genre, I don't care
where you're from.
It touches you.
If you can express that, too.
Melissa Etheridge: The thing that I loved
is during rehearsal, all these women from
Patty LeBelle to Janelle to Jill Scott to --
all of us respecting each other, and supporting,
and just being blown away by each performance,
and sharing it.
It's not a competition.
It's the joy of jumping in and participating.
That's what I feel up there.
I mean, we all know that when Aretha comes
on stage, we're just going to be on knees, because
that's one of the reasons why we did what we do.
The President: When Aretha Franklin first walked
in Fame Studio in 1967, most of the other musicians
had never heard her sing live before.
When they did, one of them said "The floors rumbled,
and the walls shook.
My brain shook."
The President: "It was magic."
So, my advice to everyone tonight
is simple: hang on.