RIP Aretha Franklin, 1942-2018

Aretha Franklin

May the Queen of Soul RIP

 

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Aretha Franklin has passed away.  She was surrounded by family in Detroit and it was reported that she was laughing to the end.  She was visited by Stevie Wonder, Jesse Jackson and other friends in the end.  Franklin continued to work while she battled pancreatic cancer and other illnesses over the last decade.

Born in 1942 the fourth of five children in Memphis Tennessee.  She was signed to Columbia Records when her skills on piano, singing, and songwriting were recognized.   The daughter of a gospel singer mother and a Baptist preacher set her up to be one of the most decorated singers in gospel, r&b, rock and roll and all forms of popular music from the 1960s into the 1980s and beyond.

Aretha Franklin has won at least eighteen Grammy awards, and was nominated countless more times.  Aretha Franklin holds the record for winning the most consecutive Grammys in the same category. She won the Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance every year from 1968 to 1975, for an eight-year winning streak. She also won in this category in 1982, 1986, and 1988, giving her 11 wins in the category.

When Luciano Pavarotti pulled out of the telecast Franklin took his place with just a few hours notice and performed in his stead.

She repeated the performance of Nessun Dorma in Philadelphia in September of 2015 in front of the Pope at the World Meeting of Families.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gCuyrKVDCs

The Queen of Soul was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  According to Billboard magazine she is also a Kennedy Center Honoree and has won the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her humanitarian work.  Billboard lists at least seventeen songs to go top 10 for Franklin including #1 listings for her song I Knew You Were Waiting for Me with the late George Michael and of course her seminal hit Respect which spent two weeks at #1 in June of 1967.

Her amazing career stretched from the memorial service for Martin Luther King, Jr to the inauguration of Barack Obama.  Marianne Faithfull once quipped “The voice of God, if you must know, is Aretha Franklin’s.”

 

 

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