METAIRIE, La. (WGNO) – Dozens in the New Orleans area are paying their respects to the queen of Bourbon Street, Chris Owens.
A public viewing was held for Owens Sunday at Garden of Memories Funeral Home & Cemetery in Metairie.
“I think Chris Owens is the epitome of New Orleans,” said Diana Morel, a fan of Owens. “She’s been here forever, and [we] just [wanted] to pay our respects that she’s done so much for the city. “
Those who attended the viewing reminisced about her impact, and some dressed for the occasion to capture her spirit.
“I had known of her all of my life, and I was inspired [by] the fact that I had become a personality on Bourbon Street myself, and that she was so fabulous with the costumes,” said Jennifer Jones, a performer and fan of Owens.
Owens was not only known for her entertainment but also her generosity.
Former employees credit Owens for changing the trajectory of their lives.
“When I was young, I was mostly hanging out in the streets, so [her Bourbon Street nightclub] kind of brought me into interest because I liked the music and stuff. That’s number one,” said Kevin Edwards, who worked for Owens at her club as a teenager. “And then also, when I didn’t have a place to stay, she put me in one of her apartments.”
Musicians who worked alongside Owens were also in attendance. They say it’s difficult to put her legacy into words.
“We had a great relationship. To me, it was very sad that she’s gone,” said Daniel Enamorado, Owens’s former band leader of 17 years. “And the day they told me that she died, I cried. She was an amazing lady, and she will always be remembered. She will always be in my heart.”
For the city of New Orleans, it’s the end of an era.
“There’s nobody who will be able to replace that,” said Kevin Barre, an admirer. Morel added, “She was one in a million.”
Jones says her legacy is her longevity, professionalism and commitment to her craft.
“Hail to the Queen of a Bourbon Street, Miss Chris Owens,” said Jones. “Rest in peace, queen.”