Aretha Franklin

March 25, 1942 – Au­gust 16, 2018

Classic Rock - - The Dirt -

Paul McCart­ney and El­ton John are among the many who have paid trib­ute to Amer­ica’s undis­puted Queen Of Soul, who at the age of 76 lost a bat­tle with pan­cre­atic can­cer. A state­ment said that the iconic singer/song­writer, an 18-time Grammy, win­ner died “at her home in Detroit, sur­rounded by fam­ily and loved ones”.

El­ton John called the Franklin death “a blow for ev­ery­body who loves real mu­sic: mu­sic from the heart, the soul and the Church”. He con­tin­ued: “Her voice was unique, her piano play­ing un­der­rated – she was one of my favourite pi­anists. I adored her and wor­shipped her tal­ent… The whole world will miss her but will al­ways re­joice in her re­mark­able legacy. The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen.”

Paul McCart­ney said: “She will be missed, but the me­mory of her great­ness as a mu­si­cian and a fine hu­man be­ing will live with us for­ever.”

Aretha Franklin was born in Mem­phis, Ten­nessee, and be­gan her ca­reer singing gospel at a Bap­tist Church in Detroit. She went on to sign with Columbia Records and recorded a string of clas­sic tracks in­clud­ing Re­spect, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Nat­u­ral Woman, Think, I Say A Lit­tle Prayer, Chain Of Fools and Baby I Love You. She sold more than 75 mil­lion records, notch­ing up more than 100 Bill­board-charted sin­gles. In 1987 she be­came the first fe­male artist to be in­ducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Franklin recorded The Weight with Duane All­man in 1969 and fa­mously ap­peared in the 1980 film The Blues Broth­ers along­side John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.

In Fe­bru­ary 2017, Franklin an­nounced her in­ten­tion to stop tour­ing, yet she con­tin­ued to book con­certs. The pub­lic per­for­mance that proved to be her last was at an El­ton John AIDS Foun­da­tion gala in New York in Novem­ber 2017.

Away from mu­sic, Franklin was a po­lit­i­cal an­i­mal. Her fa­ther CL helped Dr Martin Luther King to or­gan­ise his Walk To Free­dom, and she per­formed Pre­cious Lord at King’s memo­rial ser­vice in 1968. Aretha also per­formed at the in­au­gu­ra­tion of Barack Obama in 2009, and at con­certs for Jimmy Carter in 1977 and Bill Clin­ton in 1993.

A state­ment re­leased by Barack and Michelle Obama said sim­ply: “Ev­ery time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine.” DL

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