Aretha Franklin: Queen of Soul
Aretha Franklin, fondly known as the “Queen of Soul,” passed away on August 16 at the age of seventy-six. Franklin’s voice—unmistakably familiar to all for its depth, range, and emotional power—has shaped American music since her first commercial success in the late 1960s.
While growing up in Detroit, Franklin sang at the New Bethel Baptist Church, where her father was a preacher. She later combined her background in gospel with jazz, rhythm and blues, and pop music, belting out a string of early number-one hits, notably “Respect” (1967) and “Since You’ve Been Gone” (1968). Franklin is considered one of the greatest singers of all time. In addition to garnering eighteen Grammy awards, Franklin became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1987).