Aretha Franklin dead at 76

Lewis Collier
August 17, 2018

In February 2017, Franklin told Detroit news station WDIV Local 4 that she would be retiring from touring after the release of her colloboration album with Stevie Wonder. She was later discharged and reported to be responding positively to treatment at home.

Of course, regardless of any possible semblance of a business relationship he and Franklin shared, this is hardly the time to bring such matters to the public fore.

Last year, Aretha gave her last performance at a gala in NY held in aid of the Elton John Aids Foundation.

By 1968, she was known as "The Queen of Soul" internationally, had received an award from Martin Luther King and appeared on a Time magazine cover.

There are countless Aretha Franklin songs that seem to serve as complete microcosms of her range of talent and cultural significance.

Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on March 25, 1942.

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2014: Franklin had an asteroid named after her, the 249516 Aretha. Aretha attended Northern High School until she had to drop out.

At the age of 12, Aretha had her first child after she was impregnated by Donald Burk, her school sweetheart. She started performing in front of her father's congregation and as part of a traveling revival show. "Day Dreaming" is the first of three stunning originals on Young, Gifted, and Black; another equally great entry is "Rock Steady", arguably the single funkiest moment in her discography. Courted by multiple labels, including Berry Gordy's fledging Motown, she signed with Columbia Records in 1960. Well, things took a turn for the Trumpian with his next sentence: "She worked for me on numerous occasions".

"She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever", he tweeted. Franklin won 18 Grammy awards and in 1987 she became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Paul McCartney, Carole King, John Legend, Willie Nelson, Ariana Grande, Britney Spears and Barbra Streisand were among the many who posted tributes to social media. Franklin took soul music to a new level and inspired generations of singers who came after her. Most Americans recognize her uniquely powerful voice from the opening strains of "Respect", "Chain of Fools", or any of her other hits, more than 100 of which reached the Billboard charts throughout her career. Her music career declined in the 70s when funk music became the latest sensation. Her two marriages ended in divorce. The mother of four boys has also had severe weight issues and has struggled with alcoholism and smoking addictions. In 2010, she was forced to cancel to scheduled performances due to fractured ribs and abdominal pain.

"M$3 ore than once I've met a hero of mine but nothing compared to getting to know Aretha Franklin".

The two Blues Brothers films marked Franklin's only big-screen performances - but that was more than enough to cement her cinematic legacy.

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