Aretha Franklin

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Franklin, Aretha,

1942–2018, American singer and pianist, b. Memphis. The daughter of the well-known minister C. L. Franklin, she began singing in the choir of his Detroit Baptist church, where she soon became a soloist. A singer of unique power, the "Queen of Soul" turned from gospel to secular music in the late 1950s. Signed by John HammondHammond, John Henry,
1910–87, American record producer; blues, jazz, and rock promoter; and music critic, b. New York City. A member of the wealthy Vanderbilt family, he entered the music business in the early 1930s.
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 of Columbia Records in 1960, she moved to Atlantic Records in 1967, where she recorded many of her most famous hits. Franklin was a master of many genres, from gospel to jazz, rhythm and blues to pop, with a four-octave range and enormous emotional strength, and many regarded her as the greatest female vocalist of the 20th cent. She is particularly known for such hits as "Respect" (her signature song, it became an anthem for both the civil-rights and women's movements), "(You Make Me Feel like) A Natural Woman," "Chain of Fools," "Freeway of Love," and "Who's Zoomin' Who?" She was (1987) the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received 18 Grammy awards as well as a lifetime achievement award (1994). Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, she sang at President Obama's inauguration in 2009.


See her autobiography (with D. Ritz, 1999); biography by D. Ritz (2014); A. Pollack, dir., Amazing Grace (documentary, 2018).

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Franklin, Aretha

(1942–  ) soul singer; born in Memphis, Tenn. Daughter of Detroit clergyman C. L. Franklin, she sang in church choirs as a child and at age 14 joined her father's traveling gospel revue. Although she began recording at age 18, it was at Atlantic Records beginning in 1966 that she worked with experienced rhythm-and-blues musicians and was encouraged to use her gospel roots. In 1967 she gained fame with the release "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You." This and four subsequent number one hits ensured a large following. In the 1980s, recording for Arista, she overcame a creative slump and added 3 Grammies and 2 gold records to the many she has earned during her career. Her passionate virtuoso singing and tight arrangements give her music an eloquent intensity. In 1986 she starred in the retrospective television special, Aretha! and in 1989 she was the subject of a documentary video, Aretha Franklin: Queen of Soul. Her highly flamboyant live performances, such as that in the Radio City Music Hall in 1990, never failed to draw full audiences.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
A show celebrating the work of soul diva Aretha Franklin will be staged at Stirling's Albert Hall on Friday September 27.
Theatre Severn will be paying its respects to one of the greatest singers of all time when Respect: The Aretha Franklin Songbook comes on stage.
(AP) -- Three handwritten wills have been found in the suburban Detroit home of Aretha Franklin, months after the death of the "Queen of Soul," including one that was discovered under cushions in the living room, a lawyer said Monday.
THE hits of 'Queen of Soul' Aretha Franklin are being revived in a tribute show in Northumberland by The Voice contestant Letitia George.
The singer, a lifelong fan of the soul star, will be treating fans to a trip down memory lane in the show, Respect to Aretha, which is coming to Phoenix Theatre in Blyth in May.
There are few singers who could hope to do justice to the astonishing voice and energy of a talent like Aretha Franklin, but the people of Coventry are lucky enough to count one of them amongst their number.
[USA], Mar 18 (ANI): All the Aretha Franklin fans have a reason to rejoice as they will soon be able to witness the magic of the late American singer-songwriter.
CBS is all about Aretha Franklin Sunday night with its "Aretha!
AN award-winning director has signed up to produce a biopic about Aretha Franklin.
POLICE are investigating the alleged theft of singing legend Aretha Franklin's assets before she died.
Whatever others may say in clearly deserved praise and homage to Aretha Franklin, it is vitally important that we, as persons and a people, speak our own special cultural truth about her and make our own unique assessment of her music, life, service and meaning to us.