Queen of Soul was voice of an American era
Aretha Franklin, universally acclaimed as the “Queen of Soul” and one of America’s greatest singers in any style, died Thursday at her home in Detroit. She was 76.
The cause was advanced pancreatic cancer, her publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn, said.
In her indelible late-1960s hits, Franklin brought the righteous fervor of gospel music to secular songs that were about much more than romance. Hits like “Do Right Woman – Do Right Man,” “Think,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “Chain of Fools” defined a modern female archetype: sensual and strong, long- suffering but ultimately indomitable, loving but not to be taken for granted.
When Franklin sang “Respect,” the Otis Redding song that became her signature, it was never just about how a woman wanted to be greeted by a spouse coming home from work. It was a demand for equality and freedom and a harbinger of feminism, carried by a voice that would accept nothing less.
Franklin had a grandly celebrated career. She placed more than 100 singles in the Billboard charts, including 17 Top 10 pop singles and 20 No. 1 R&B hits. She received 18 competitive Grammy Awards, along with a lifetime achievement award in 1994. She was the first woman inducted into the Rock
ARETHA IS A GIFT FROM GOD. WHEN IT COMES TO EXPRESSING YOURSELF THROUGH SONG, THERE IS NO ONE WHO CAN TOUCH HER. SHE IS THE REASON WHY WOMEN WANT TO SING. Mary J. Blige