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Soul Train Awards

ATLANTA — Grammy-winning singer Estelle remembered when she used to strut in the living room when she was younger, singing many of soul legend Otis Redding’s classic songs like “Sittin’ On The Dock of the Bay.”

On Thursday night, she had a bigger audience as she and others paid homage to the soul singer in a two-hour performance at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta.

“I’m just trying to do his song justice,” said Estelle, who sang “Satisfaction,” the Rolling Stones song that Redding covered. “I hope I come close to making the song sound great just like him.”

Estelle was joined in honoring Redding by Anthony Hamilton, married couple Kenny Lattimore and Chante Moore, and Redding’s sons Dexter and Otis III.

“Singing the same songs he used to sing makes me realize how much of an impact he had in music,” said Anthony Hamilton, who performed “Try a Little Tenderness” with Dexter and Otis III.

Redding established himself in the early 1960s as a first-rate songwriter, penning and recording “Respect,” which Aretha Franklin made a No. 1 hit. His biggest hit, “Sittin’ On The Dock of the Bay,” was released after his death in a plane crash in December 1967.

“Tonight, his name lives on,” said Redding’s wife, Zelma. She established the Big “O” Youth Educational Dream Foundation, which also honored NASCAR’s Kyle Petty, rapper Ludacris and talent developer Devyne Stephens for their foundation’s outreach programs.

“Otis would be so proud of what so many of these people have done in the community,” Zelma Redding said.

Rapper Ludacris said he was humbled after meeting and sitting next to Redding’s wife, sons and daughter.

“I’m just a fan of Otis Redding,” the rapper said. “His legacy will live forever and he has been one of the major influences in who I am. It’s as simple as that.”


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