In all of music history there was never a voice like the queen of soul, Aretha Franklin.
Born in Memphis Tennessee in 1942, the daughter of pastor and civil rights activist C.L. Franklin, Aretha grew up singing in her father’s Baptist church in Detroit. She learned piano by ear, and toured with her father’s gospel caravan as a teen. She signed with Columbia Records in 1960, but the label had her singing pop standards, unsure how to use her incredible voice.
It was with Atlantic Records in 1967 that Aretha established herself as a musical force with hits like “I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You,” “Chain Of Fools” and “Natural Woman.” But it was her gender changing cover of Otis Redding’s “Respect” that took her from R&B singer to cultural icon.
In the decades that followed, Aretha’s career would have peaks and valleys, and a huge commercial resurgence in the 80’s, but her legendary voice was always strong.
Her 56 year career resulted in 20 #1 R&B singles, the third most Grammys in history for a female artist, induction into the Gospel and R&B Halls of Fame, and the first woman inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
She announced her retirement from the road last year, but most shows were cancelled for health reasons. Aretha died in her Detroit home, surrounded by family and friends, at age 76.
Magic 92.5 remembers the one and only Queen Of Soul, Aretha Franklin.