Valerie Tyson

 Aretha Franklin has been famously dubbed the nickname the “Queen of Soul” over the years due to her legendary career spanning several decades and over a multitude of genres.

Franklin’s expressive and powerful vocals were always accompanied by her beautiful piano melodies. She was an icon of the music industry and continues to inspire musicians on a daily basis. Franklin’s music made a lasting impact on Valerie Tyson, who grew up listening to the entire discography.

Valerie Tyson herself has been a singer/entertainer for over 40 years now. She plays with the Valerie Tyson Band all across the nation, performing at a variety of venues.

  “We are a very diverse band simply because every member comes from a different background… we are truly a melting pot - we play everything from R&B, soul, Motown, disco, jazz… you name it,” said Tyson when asked what kind of music the Valerie Tyson Band normally performs.

The Aretha Franklin tribute show started back in 2015 after colleagues from a recording studio convinced Tyson and said that her powerful voice was able to carry the same notes and riffs that Aretha did. After giving it some serious thought and research, Tyson put together the tribute show. The upcoming tour is the first time since the pandemic that the band has been able to perform the show again, and they are excited to add some new songs and elements they’ve been working on.

The Valerie Tyson Band strives to make its tribute to Aretha as authentic as possible in the way they perform the original music. It even brings in a few background singers to enhance the natural range of Aretha’s voice. Tyson even had a seamstress custom make a red ball gown that is a replica of a dress Aretha used to perform in.

“I’m just a girl from Hollywood, FL who grew up appreciating Aretha Franklin, and I still get goosebumps when I listen to her… I think she is just the blueprint of soul singing. To be able to bring this show to life has been truly humbling,” Tyson said about the show.

The band will be performing hits such as ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’, ‘Day Dreaming’, ‘Chain of Fools’ and of course the fan-favorite ‘Respect’. Based in South Florida, the Valerie Tyson Band captures the true essence of soul that Aretha was so famous for by blending perfect harmonies, precise instrumentation, and a visually engaging stage show.

Area residents will have a chance to pay tribute to the legendary musician with the Valerie Tyson Band at the Polk Theatre on Friday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. The theatre is located at 121 Florida Ave S, Lakeland. For tickets or more information, call 863-682-7553 or visit

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