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Aretha Franklin Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (35)  | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (5)

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Died in Detroit, Michigan, USA  (pancreatic cancer)
Birth NameAretha Louise Franklin
Nicknames The Queen of Soul
Ree
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Grammy-winning Queen of Soul and the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Aretha Louise Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee, to Barbara Vernice (Siggers) and C. L. Franklin, a Baptist minister, who preached at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit for over thirty years. Known as the man with the "Million-Dollar Voice", her father was one of the most respected and prominent ministers in the country, and Aretha grew up singing in church, and surrounded by local and national celebrities. She learned how to play piano by ear and soon understood the correct tones and pitches.

Aretha released her first single at the age of eighteen, under Columbia Records, it reached number ten on the BillBoard charts and her first record was released in January of 1961. While working for the label, she managed to score two more R&B hits, Operation Heartbreak and Won't Be Long. However the people at Columbia often felt they didn't understand the direction Aretha wanted to go with her music, and ultimately failed to bring out her potential. In 1966, Aretha signed a contract with Atlantic Records, where she released her first legendary single, Respect, written by The King Of Soul, Otis Redding. With this single, Franklin would trigger a new vocal skill called, "call and response," which would help liven up many of her singles. While signed with Atlantic, she released three additional top ten hits, Baby I Love You, A Natural Women,and Chain Of Fools, and won her first two Grammy awards, 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 in the civil rights movement for her single with Otis Redding, Respect. The song helped send a message to Americans about equality, peace, and justice. Franklin continued to release pop hits throughout the decade, 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 1970s, she started recording gospel hits such as Don't Play That Song, Rocksteady, and Daydreaming. It was foreseeable that Franklin would soon stumble upon a masterpiece which became the best selling gospel album of all time, which she did in 1972 with her album Amazing Grace.

In the mid '70s, even though she was releasing hit songs, she began to lose touch with her soul-pop audiences due to the disco genre making its 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. On June 10, 1979, her father Clarence was shot by a mugger. This left Clarence in a coma 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 feature film The Blues Brothers. In 1982, she 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. In 1985, Franklin released an album which featured a unique never before heard element of rock. The album, "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 went on to sell more than one million copies. In 1987, Aretha sang the theme song to A Different World, a sitcom created by Bill Cosby, and 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, Franklin sang the song Someday We'll All Be Free for the soundtrack to the biopic film Malcolm X (1992). In 1993, Aretha sang at Bill Clinton's inauguration. At a slower rate in the mid-late '90s, she 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 Arista and opened her own label, Aretha. Franklin released her first album on the label, A Woman Falling Out Of Love, in 2011. It marked her fifty years in show business.

Aretha Franklin died of advanced pancreatic cancer on August 16, 2018, in Detroit, Michigan. She will be known as one of the most influential singers of all time, and as an activist who spoke of the world through her music, and used music as a tool for truth, justice, and soul.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Peter Sean

Spouse (2)

Glynn Turman (11 April 1978 - 7 February 1984) ( divorced)
Ted White (1961 - 1969) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (1)

Powerful mezzo-soprano vocals

Trivia (35)

Her favorite film when she was a child was The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939).
In 1987, she was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
She was the 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. She was the older sister of singer/songwriter Carolyn Franklin, who wrote Aretha's hit "Ain't No Way". Daughter of the Reverend C.L. Franklin.
She suffered from a fear of flying, which affected her schedule. She declined attending her Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame induction because of that.
In 1992, she performed at President Bill Clinton's presidential inauguration.
In 1984, her father, the Reverend C.L. Franklin, died after having been shot by a burglar.
Her voice was designated a "Natural Resource" by the State of Michigan.
She was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
In 1987, her duet with George Michael, "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)", was a UK and US number-one single and her only UK chart-topper.
She won 18 Grammy Awards; Grammy Legend Award; Kennedy Center Honor.
She was 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.
On 11/9/05, she was 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.
She is mentioned in the song "Life Is a Rock But the Radio Rolled Me" by Reunion.
In 1999, she was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts by the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington, D.C.
Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen, was an avid fan of her work.
On 11/16/05, she was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame for her outstanding contribution to British music and integral part of British music culture.
In 2012, she was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame; having been described as the voice of the civil rights movement, the voice of black America and a symbol a black equality.
In 2008, she was voted the greatest singer of the rock era in a Rolling Stone magazine poll.
She 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 on August 29, 1979.
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.
She was reported that she has pancreatic cancer [December 8, 2010].
Many fans, critics and fellow musicians consider her to be the greatest soul singer of all time.
She had known Whitney Houston since Houston was age 5, and was her godmother.
She was named for two of her father's sisters, Aretha and Louise.
She had four sons: Clarence Franklin (b. January 28, 1955) with Donald Burk, Edward Franklin (b. January 5, 1957) with Edward Jordan, Ted White, Jr. (b. February 1964) with her first husband Ted White and Kecalf Cunningham (b. March 28, 1970) with Ken Cunningham.
On August 13, 2018, Franklin was reported to be gravely ill with pancreatic cancer, the disease she was first diagnosed with in 2010, in a Detroit hospital. Later the same day CNN reported that she was at home in hospice care surrounded by loved ones. Franklin died at her home on August 16, 2018, aged 76.
She has an asteroid named after her. NASA's NEOWISE project discovered the asteroid 249516 on February 15 2010 and gave it the name "249516 Aretha", or "2010 CV60". The name nomination proposal came from Amy Mainzer, Principal Investigator of the project. The asteroid is 4.306 kilometers in diameter and circles the Sun between Mars and Jupiter every 5.63 years.
Died intestate with a reported net worth of $80 million.
Always insisted on being paid $25,000 cash in advance of her shows, but was willing to accept a check for any outstanding balance.
Grandmother of Victorie Franklin.
Personal favorites of her recorded songs include: "Respect" (1967), "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (1967) and "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You" (1967).

Personal Quotes (2)

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.
I didn't think my songs would become anthems for women. But I'm delighted. Women probably immediately feel compassion and relate to the lyrics. We can all learn a little something from each other, so whatever people can take and be inspired by where my music is concerned is great.

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