Singer Aretha Louise Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1942. The daughter of a Baptist Minister, she grew up singing and playing the piano in Church, and by the age of 18 had released her first single with Columbia Records. The record reached number 10 in the Billboard charts.
The release of ‘Respect’ in 1967 made Aretha a household name. This was followed by albums including ‘I Never Loved a Man the Way I Loved You’, ‘Lady Soul’ and ‘Young, Gifted and Black’. Her music connected with listeners globally and across her career, she performed alongside artists such as Otis Reading, Elton John and the late George Michael.
Not only was Aretha Franklin a phenomenally talented musician, she fought hard for equal rights and was unafraid to involve herself in politics. During the 1960’s, ‘Respect’ became an anthem for the civil rights movement, she sang ‘Someday We’ll All Be Free’ for the film Malcolm X and she performed at Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993.
Her career spanned sixty years, during which she was nominated for 26 Grammy Awards, winning 18 of them, including the Legend Award in 1991 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. She released the bestselling gospel album of all time with ‘Amazing Grace’ in 1972, and was named the Queen of Soul. She became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Her music will live with us forever and continue to touch our hearts and souls eternally.
Aretha Franklin – 1942 – 2018, Rest in eternal peace.
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