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Aretha Franklin (1942-2018)

Posted by ObitTree

aretha franklin performing
Aretha Franklin
March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018


Aretha Franklin, the “Queen of Soul” has passed away at the age of 76. Franklin’s death was attributed to pancreatic cancer and confirmed by her publicist Thursday morning.


Franklin is remembered as a cultural icon who transformed music. During her lengthy career, Franklin released several hit songs including “Think,” ”I Say a Little Prayer“ and her signature song, ”Respect”.


She was born in 1942 to Barbara and C.L. Franklin in Memphis Tennessee. Her father was a preacher and her mother a talented vocalist and piano player. The Franklin family moved to Buffalo when Aretha was 2 years old and subsequently moved again before her fifth birthday, this time to Detroit.


Franklin’s parents had a troubled marriage and eventually seperated in 1948. After their divorce, Franklin’s mother moved back to Buffalo taking her son Vaughn (from a previous relationship) with her. Contrary to popular belief, her mother did not abandon her family after the divorce. Franklin recalled visiting her mother in Buffalo several times as well as her mother making trips to visit the family in Detroit.


Franklin got her start in music around the age of ten, shortly following her mother’s death. It was during this time that she began to learn how to play the piano by ear and started performing during her father’s church sermons. Fast forward 4 years, and Franklin’s father became her manager taking her on the road to perform. Over time, Franklin’s father had become somewhat of a celebrity pastor known as the man with the million dollar voice and was being hired to lead sermons around the country. At 14, Franklin joined him on the road during his “gospel caravan tours”. It was also during this time that several celebrities began to visit Franklin’s father at their home.


After initial success in gospel music, Franklin informed her father that she wanted to branch out into pop music in 1960. In 1961, she released her first album through Columbia Records. Franklin achieved early success at Columbia and released several albums. Many have said that Franklin’s talent did not achieve her full potential while at Columbia. In 1967 after 6 years at the label, she chose not to renew her contract and signed with Atlantic Records.


It was in 1967 that Franklin began the most commercially successful era of her career. Throughout the late 1960s and 1970s, Franklin release several crittically and commercially succesful albums. She routinely worked with producer, Jerry Wexler which was partly attributed to her success. Franklin had a lengthy career and performed well into her 70’s with her final album being released in November 2017.


Franklin was considered by many to be one of the giants of soul music, and indeed of American pop as a whole. With powerful vocals and an ear for music, she excelled at creating hit after hit. During her lengthy career, she had nearly 100 singles reach the Billboard R&B charts with 20 of them reaching number 1.


Throughout her career, Franklin recieved numerous awards and accolades. Some of these awards included the Grammys Lifetime Achievment Award, The Presdential Medal of Freedom and the first woman to be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Following the news of her death, several celebrities have expressed their condolences on Twitter.

This entry was posted in Celebrity Deaths on August 16th, 2018 by ObitTree .

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