CHICAGO — Music legends, activists, friends and family all gathered Wednesday to celebrate the life of the Pervis Spann.

The Chicago radio legend is credited as the person who helped put some of the biggest artists on the map, with many remembering him as a music powerhouse.

Spann helped build the radio station WVON-AM. Tillman said she had known the music legend since the 1960s, adding that he was a visionary and his legacy would live on throughout his influence in music, the community, and the world.

He is credited with helping launch the careers of Aretha Franklin, The Jackson 5, B.B. King and Gene Chandler.

“From that, there were lots of people who called me from around the country and other theaters who wanted me to headline. He was instrumental in getting me started and becoming who I am as an artist,” Chandler said.

Spann co-founded Midway Broadcasting Corporation and Reverend Sharpton said he paved the path for the Black community.

“Because Pervis and his associates got VON, and gave us a megaphone, that’s how Harold Washington became Mayor, that’s how Barack Obama became a US Senator,” Sharpton said. “That’s how he became a president, through the megaphone of Pervis Spann he did not only change Chicago, he changed Black America, and therefore the nation.”

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Spann died due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease.