Biography of Aretha Louise Franklin

American singer Aretha Louise Franklin

Who was Aretha Louis Franklin?

Aretha Louise Franklin was an American singer, songwriter and actress. She is called the “Queen of Soul”. She ruled the age of soul music in the 1960s. Aretha Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee on March 25, 1942. Her father, Clarence La Vaughan Franklin, was a Reverend of a Baptist church. Her mother, Barbara Signers Franklin, was a gospel singer. Franklin had three siblings and grew up in a religious family.

At the age of six, Aretha’s parents separated, and when she turned ten, her mother passed away. Aretha taught herself to play the piano and sang for her father’s church choir. She began her career in music at the age of fourteen.
Her first album, ‘Songs of Faith’, came out in 1956 with J.V.B Label. Franklin singed a recording deal with Columbia Records and moved to New York in 196. Her song “Today I Sing the Blues” topped the Hot R&B Sellers charts.

Early Professional Life

Franklin also released her pop album, ‘Aretha: With the Ray Bryant Combo’ in 1961. It became an instant hit with its single “Rock-a-bye”. Her hit singles from 1964 to 1966 were, “Runnin’ out of Fools”, “One Step Ahead”, “City like a Baby” and “You Made Me Love You”. Franklin began recording with Atlantic Records in 1966. She released ‘I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You’ in 1967.

It topped the Billboard Hot 100. Her albums ‘Aretha Arrives’, ‘Lady Soul’ and Aretha Now’ earned her the title of “Queen of Soul”. Her singles, “Respect”, “Think” and “I Say a Little Prayer”, gained her international recondition. Franklin received two Grammy Awards for “Respect”.

Aretha Records

Franklin signed with Aretha Records in 1980. She performed for the Queen of England in the same year at the Royal Albert Hall. Also, her single “United Together” ranked there in the R$B charts. She made an appearance in the musical The Blues Brothers. In 1981, her album ‘Love All the Hurt Away’ was released.

Her duet song worth George Benson called “Hold On, I’m Coming” earned her eleventh Grammy Awards. She worked with Narada Michael Walden for her 1985 album ‘Who’s Zoomin’ Who. It became her first platinum album. Its single “freeway of Love” earned her another Grammy.

Franklin released another gospel album in 1987, titled ‘One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism’. Her 1998 album, ‘A Rose is still a Rose ‘was certified gold. Franklin’s autobiography Aretha: From These Roots was published in 1999.

Franklin released her album ‘Aretha: A Woman Falling out of Love’ from her label in 2011. In 2014, Franklin released a cover of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”. After this, she became the first woman to have one hundred songs in R&B charts.

Achievements of Franklin

Franklin has received eighteen Grammy Awards in her lifetime. She has won three American Music Awards in the category ‘Favorite Soul/ R&B Female Artist’. She was the first female musician to be inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. She became the most charted female artist of all time; she also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.

The same year, she became the second woman to be inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame and the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame. She had also been inducted to the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame. She was ranked number one in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of ‘100 Greatest Singers of All Time’ in 2010. She was honored as the MusiCares ‘Person of the Year’ in 2008.

Love Life Context and Death

Aretha Franklin has been married twice. Her last marriage was to Glynn Turman in 1978. They separated after six years of marriage. She was a mother to four children. Her third son, Ted White Jr. (Teddy Richards), also became a musician.
Franklin passed away on August 16, 2018, due to pancreatic cancer.

She was 76 years old at the time. She continued recording and performing until the very ends. In 2009, Franklin performed “My Country “Tis Thee” at the inauguration of President Barack Obama. She has been described as “the voice of the civil rights movement, the voice of black American.” In 2014, Asteroid 249516 was named “Aretha” in honor.