Her music paved the way for so many artists in the industry and her nearly seven decades of entertaining the world has put her as one of the most highly acclaimed performers of all time.
She was the first female artist to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She received 18 Grammy awards, sold over 75 million records worldwide, and charted 112 singles on Billboard that placed her as the most charted female artist in the history of the magazine.
Her accolades included 3 American Music Awards, 2 MTV Video Music Awards, three NAACP Image Awards. She earned a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and Grammy Legend Award. She performed during the inaugurations for three presidents, Carter, Clinton, and Barack Obama.
She was and forever will be a powerful inspiration to people, young and old around the world, not only with regards to the music industry but also as a huge humanitarian as shown through her work with 11 various charities and 15 other causes. She was a huge supporter of the Feeding America charity, the NAACP, the Robert Kennedy Memorial, The Rainforest Foundation, and the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Disorders. These are just a few of the many.
By the time she reached 14 she was the mother of two. Her son, Clarence was born when she was just 12 years old and two years later her son Edward was born. In 1964 she gave birth to her third son Teddy and in 1970 Kecalf was born.
Aretha herself was born in Memphis on March 25th, of 1942. Her family then moved to Detroit MI where her father would become the famous noted pastor of the New Bethel Baptist Church where Aretha would attend and share her love of singing throughout the years.
In 1967 she would get her big break when she signed with Atlantic Records. That same year she would release “I Never Loved a Man, The Way I Love You.” It was recorded at the infamous Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals AL and would be her first hit on the Top 10 Billboard charts.
Just a short two months after… this song opened the doors for her as she followed up with a release of an Otis Redding cover called, “Respect,” which took her out into the stratosphere of #1 not only on the pop charts but R&B as well. With all this it’s no wonder that her first album for Atlantic Records, I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You would shoot straight to the top Gold.
Franklins career would take her to heights only imagined by many and people would fall in love with her in an instant. Franklin had been battling with various health issues for quite some time and had been in hospice care for several weeks.
Today is a day of mourning with the passing of this truly gifted artist. Her music was like medicine for the soul. She had a song for every moment, one that would wake you up, put you at ease and make you get up and dance the night away. There will be no other who will transcend you to your dreams with their music like Aretha Franklin.
Forever the Queen of Soul……
Courtesy of Scott Adkins and Adkins Publicity we would like to share a few words from artists who knew her and admired her.
“The music industry lost a lot of it’s soul with the passing of the great Aretha Franklin. With all of her success, stardom and notoriety, she kept her feet close to the ground and gave her heart to the world. ” – Brenda Lee
“I am just heartbroken. This cannot be happening. Oh how I love her. Meeting her was such a highlight. She is THE shero who changed my life. Her voice. Listening to her brings me closer to Heaven and I will love her forever. We have lost an American treasure. It’s the end of an era.” – Wynonna Judd
“I never had the chance to meet her, but I love her. I mean, doesn’t everyone? She is the grand dame of soul! She could sing anything and make you believe it! I regret not having met a few of my heroes and icons in the music business, and she is definitely one of them. My thoughts and prayers are with Aretha’s family. All my love and great admiration to her!” – Tanya Tucker
“I never had the pleasure of meeting Aretha Franklin, but I was extremely honored when she recorded a song I co-wrote back in the seventies. The song was called, “I May Never Get To Heaven,” and was later a No. 1 country hit for Conway Twitty. Aretha put her own unique, personal stamp on it, and as great artists often do, made the song her very own. I admired her tremendously, and never tired of telling people that she recorded a song that I had a hand in writing. Rest in peace, Ms. Aretha, and thank you for the sunshine you brought into this country boy’s life.” – Bill Anderson
“Rest in peace Aretha Franklin. An amazing talent with one of the most moving voices of all time. Your music will live on forever.” – Billy Ray Cyrus
“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of such a musical icon. Aretha was simply the greatest singer of her generation. My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time.”
– David Bellamy
All photos courtesy of Aretha Franklin Facebook.