SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (FOX 2) - You'd know her as the Queen of Soul, the woman who left an imprint on the world as defined as any.
But for the family of Aretha Franklin, they just remember her as a mother and grandmother. And on Aug. 16 they celebrated that memory, one year since her passing.
"She really loved her family and her grandchildren," said Kecalf Cunningham, Franklin's son. "She loved her kids too, but she really loved her grandchildren."
Flanking Cunningham are Grace and Victorie Franklin, granddaughters to the late singer. Despite it being a day of melancholy, they're wearing smiles on their face.
That's because the memories of their grandmother are happy ones.
"It's inspiring to see all the love and everything that everybody took from everything my grandma did," said Grace.
"I just smile because even though she's not here, I have memories and that's all I need," said Victorie.
Victorie, the younger of the two will be performing in concert soon, to honor Aretha.
Despite the jovial feel, a shadow of uncertainty has come over the family. Upon the discovery of three separate wills found in Franklin's house, ambiguity over who has the rights to her estate have been thrown into question.
The most recently written of the three states that Cunningham is the executor of her estate. Since then court proceedings overseeing the legal battle have enveloped the family, and made the past year difficult.
"We're right in the middle of that area right there with the handwriting expert and stuff," he said. "It's a little tough at times but we just hope that in the end that her wishes will be well-received by the court and honored."
But until that day, and especially on this day, the three are happy to hold on to memories that shine their experiences with Aretha in a positive light.
"There's no diva-ness or anything, we're just eating chicken wings, stuff like that," Cunningham said. "And we would just really have a great time and that to me meant more than anything."