Aretha Louise Franklin

DREAM TEEN Magazine - - Contents -

Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – Au­gust 16, 2018) was an Amer­i­can singer, song­writer, civil rights ac­tivist, ac­tress, and pi­anist. Franklin be­gan her ca­reer as a child af­ter her mother’s death, singing gospel at New Bethel Bap­tist Church in Detroit, Michi­gan where her father, C. L. Franklin was a min­is­ter. She sang so­los at New Bethel, de­but­ing with the hymn, “Je­sus, Be a Fence Around Me.” When Franklin was 12, her father be­gan man­ag­ing her; he would bring her on the road with him dur­ing his so-called “gospel car­a­van” tours for her to per­form in var­i­ous churches. At age 18, she em­barked on a sec­u­lar ca­reer record­ing for Columbia Records. How­ever, she achieved only mod­est suc­cess. Franklin found com­mer­cial suc­cess and ac­claim af­ter sign­ing with At­lantic Records in 1966.

Hit songs such as “Re­spect,” “Chain of Fools,” “Think,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Nat­u­ral Woman,” “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You),” and “I Say a Lit­tle Prayer,” pro­pelled Franklin past her mu­si­cal peers. By the end of the 1960s, Aretha Franklin had come to be known as “The Queen of Soul.”

She con­tin­ued to record ac­claimed al­bums such as, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967), Lady Soul (1968), Spirit in the Dark (1970), Young, Gifted and Black (1972), Amaz­ing Grace (1972), and Sparkle (1976), be­fore ex­pe­ri­enc­ing prob­lems with her record com­pany. Franklin left At­lantic in 1979 and signed with Arista Records. She ap­peared in the 1980 film “The Blues Brothers” be­fore re­leas­ing the suc­cess­ful al­bums Jump To It (1982), Who’s Zoomin’ Who (1985), and Aretha (1986) on the Arista la­bel. In 1998, Franklin re­turned to the top 40 with the Lau­ryn Hill-pro­duced song “A Rose Is Still a Rose,” later is­su­ing the al­bum of the same name, which went gold. In ad­di­tion, Franklin earned in­ter­na­tional ac­claim for her per­for­mance of “Nes­sun Dorma” at the Grammy Awards, fill­ing in at the last minute for Lu­ciano Pavarotti, who had can­celled af­ter the show had al­ready be­gun. In 2015, she paid trib­ute to singer/song­writer and hon­oree Ca­role King by singing “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Nat­u­ral Woman” at the Kennedy Cen­ter Hon­ors.

Franklin recorded 112 charted sin­gles on The Bill­board, in­clud­ing 77 hot 100 en­tries, 17 top-ten pop sin­gles, 100 R&B en­tries, and 20 num­ber-one R&B sin­gles, be­com­ing the most charted fe­male artist in his­tory. Franklin’s other well-known hits in­clude “Rock Steady,” “Call Me,” “Ain’t No Way,” “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied),” “Span­ish Har­lem”, “Day Dream­ing”, “Un­til You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do),” “Some­thing He Can Feel,” “Jump To It,” “Free­way of Love,” “Who’s Zoomin’ Who,” and “I Knew You Were Wait­ing (For Me)” (a duet with Ge­orge Michael). She won 18 Grammy Awards, in­clud­ing the first eight awards given for Best Fe­male R&B vo­cal per­for­mance from 1968 through 1975, and she is one of the best-selling mu­si­cal artists of all time, hav­ing sold more than 75 mil­lion records world­wide.

Franklin re­ceived nu­mer­ous hon­ors through­out her ca­reer, in­clud­ing a 1987 in­duc­tion into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the first fe­male per­former to be in­ducted, the Na­tional Medal of Arts, and the Pres­i­den­tial Medal of Free­dom. She was in­ducted to the UK Mu­sic Hall of Fame in 2005 and to the Gospel Mu­sic Hall of Fame in 2012. Franklin is listed in two all-time lists by Rolling Stone magazine, in­clud­ing the 100 Great­est Artists of All Time and the 100 Great­est Singers of All Time. In 2008, she was ranked by Rolling Stone as the No. 1 great­est singer of all time.

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