Several Grammy award wins, the first women to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and dubbed as the Queen Of Soul. Aretha Louise Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Aretha was born to parents, Barbra Singers homemaker, and Clarence Franklin a baptist minster. Aretha Franklin started to sing due to her father being a minister. Clarence Franklin was one of the most respected and prominent ministers in the country, because of this she grew up surrounded by local and national celebrities. Franklin learned how to play piano by ear and soon understood the correct tones and pitches needed for songs.
Aretha Franklin released her first single at the age of 18, under Columbia Records, it reached number ten on the BillBoard charts and her first record was released in January of 1961. Aretha Franklin while working for the label managed to score two more R&B hits, Operation Heartbreak and Won't Be Long. However the people at Columbia Records often felt they didn't understand the direction Aretha wanted to go with her music, and felt they ultimately failed to bring out the potential she had. Franklin in 1966 signed a contract with Atlantic Records, this would be where she released her first legendary single with the label called, Respect written by The King Of Soul, Otis Redding. With this single, Franklin would trigger a new vocal skill called, "call and response". This new skill with backup singer would help liven many of her singles. While being signed with Atlantic Records what followed was three additional top ten hits, Baby I Love You, A Natural Women,and Chain Of Fools. Franklin would also win her first two Grammy awards while being associate with Atlantic Records, and eight consecutive Grammys for best female R&B vocal category.
Franklin had not only achieved her dream of becoming a musical sensation but stood out as a significant person in the civil rights movement for her single with Otis Redding, Respect. The song helped send a message to Americans of equality,peace,and justice. In the sixties Franklin continued to release Pop hits such as Think, I Say A Little Prayer, and Ain't No Way. After these amazing hits to many listeners she was seen as The Queen Of Soul. In the 1970's she started releasing more gospel hits such as Don't Play That Song,Rocksteady, and Daydreaming. It was foreseeable that Franklin would soon stumble upon a masterpiece which would be the best selling gospel album of all time, which she did in 1972 with her album, Amazing Grace.
In the mid 70's even though she was releasing hit songs, she soon began to lose touch with her soul-pop audiences due to the disco genre making it's entrance into mainstream music. In 1979 she released an album in order to gain the audience of disco lovers called, La Diva. La Diva sold less than 50,000 copies and was marked as the lowest point in Franklin's career. In June,10,1979 her father, Clarence Franklin was shot by a mugger, this left Clarence Franklin in a comma for five years and Aretha decided to move back to Detroit to take care of her father. Clarence Franklin died on July,27,1984.
In 1980 along with several other musicians such as Ray Charles and James Brown, Aretha Franklin appeared in the hit-movie, The Blues Brothers. In 1982 she soon returned to the R&B top ten charts with her hit album, Jump To It featuring Luther Vandross. It sold more than 600,000 copies and was gold-certified managing to stay on number one for seven weeks. AIn 1985 Franklin released an album which featured an unique never before heard element of rock. The album was called "Who's Zoomin Who?" and soon went on to receive platinum certified success. The album also featured a hit-song with George Michael called, I Know You Were Waiting For Me and the album went on to sell more than one million copies. In 1987, Aretha Franklin sang the theme song to the sitcom created by Bill Cosby, A Different World. In 1989 she released a pop album which featured Elton John,James Brown, The Four Tops, Kenny G,and Whitney Houston called Through The Storm. In 1992 Aretha Franklin sang the song Someday We'll All Be Free to the soundtrack to the biopic movie, Malcolm X. Aretha Franklin in 1993 sang at Bill Clinton's inauguration. Franklin at a slower rate in the mid-late 90's continued to release albums and singles working with new artists such as BabyFace,Jermaine Dupri,Sean "P Diddy" Combs,and Lauryn Hill along with her label, Arista Records.
In 2003, she had ended the 23 year relationship with being apart of the Arista label and opened her own label called, Aretha. Franklin released her first album on the label called, A Woman Falling Out Of Love in 2011, it marked her fifty years in show business. Aretha Franklin will be known as one of the most influential singers of all time, Aretha Franklin will not only be seen as a tremendous singer but as an activist who talked about the world through her music, and used music as the tool for truth, justice, and soul.
|Glynn Turman||(11 April 1978 - 7 February 1984) (divorced)|
|Ted White||(1962 - 1969) (divorced) 1 child|
Her powerful vocals
Her favorite film as a child was The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939)
First woman to be admitted to the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.
Younger sister of vocalist Erma Franklin, who originally recorded the song "Piece of My Heart," later a hit for Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin. Older sister of singer/songwriter Carolyn Franklin, who wrote Aretha's hit "Ain't No Way." Daughter of the Rev. C.L. Franklin.
Suffers from a fear of flying that affects her schedule--she declined attending her Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame induction because of it.
1992: Performed at President Bill Clinton's presidential inauguration.
1984: Her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin, died after having been shot by a burglar.
Her voice was designated a "Natural Resource" by the State of Michigan.
Is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
1987: Her duet with George Michael, "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)", was a UK #1 single.
Won 15 Grammy Awards; Grammy Legend Award; Kennedy Center Honor.
Ranked #1 on VH1's Greatest Women of Rock N Roll
She was voted the 9th Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Artist of all time by Rolling Stone.
11/9/05: Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush. Other recipients were Frank Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Gen. Richard Myers, Paul Rusesabagina, Carol Burnett, Andy Griffith, Vint Cerf and his Internet co-developer Robert Kahn, Jack Nicklaus, Alan Greenspan and former congressman G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery.
Mentioned in the song "Life Is a Rock But the Radio Rolled Me" by Reunion.
1999: She was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts by the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington, DC.
She has won 16 Grammy Awards.
11/16/05: Inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame for her outstanding contribution to British music and integral part of British music culture.
Godmother of Whitney Houston.
She can't read music.
Voted the greatest singer of the rock era in a Rolling Stone magazine poll in 2008.
Aretha sang "God Bless America" at the inauguration of Barack Obama on January 20, 2009.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6920 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
The lavish hat she wore when she performed at Barack Obama's presidential inauguration was supplied by Detroit's Mr. Song Millinery. It created such a sensation that designer Luke Song sold out of the style shortly after.
She and Smokey Robinson grew up together.
Was reported that she has pancreatic cancer. (8 Dec 2010).
Engaged to longtime friend, William "Willie" Wilkerson [January 3, 2012].
Had known Whitney Houston, since Whitney was age 5, and was her godmother.
Gave birth to her 4th child at age 28, a son Kecalf Cunningham on March 28, 1970. Child's father is her now ex-boyfriend, Ken Cunningham.
Gave birth to her 3rd child, a son Ted White, Jr., with her now ex-1st husband Ted White. 
Gave birth to her 1st child at age 14, a son Clarence Franklin on March 28, 1956. Child's father is her now ex-boyfriend.
Gave birth to her 2nd child at age 24, a son Edward Franklin on January 5, 1957. Child's father is her now ex-boyfriend.
Trying to grow up is hurting, you know. You make mistakes. You try to learn from them, and when you don't it hurts even more.
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