Aretha Franklin. For many people, just hearing her name brings powerful music to mind: “Respect,” “Think,” “Amazing Grace.” Aretha's song titles say everything about the woman herself. Her songs uplift, entertain, and inspire people from all walks of life. Her music played a powerful part during a time of change and struggle in American history.
The music Aretha has performed throughout her life has been shaped by her own experiences. It's proof of Aretha's incredible talent that her gospel roots made her not only the “Queen of Soul,” but also an artist who could perform blues, jazz, hip-hop and even opera. There really is nothing she can't sing. She has used her voice for nearly fifty years to inspire her fans, and to sing the stories that so many people can relate to.
Aretha's life has been an amazing journey. As a shy young woman she idolized the great gospel singers Clara Ward and Mahalia Jackson. Aretha grew up to become a great gospel singer herself. She also grew up to become a confident, successful, and independent African American woman.
Aretha has lived through terrible tragedy. She has supported beloved members of her family through sickness and death, while struggling with her own grief. She is the daughter of a powerful preacher, the sister of songwriters and singers, and the mother of four talented sons.
Aretha's fans come from every walk of life. She has performed for kings and queens, presidents and first ladies, and millions of people of every race, gender, and age. All of her fans are united by the power of her voice. Aretha sings songs they care about, take comfort in, and that get their feet dancing.
Aretha has been recognized as a diva. She's been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She's won more Grammy Awards than any other female performer. Aretha Franklin is truly a living legend!
- Child of the Gospel - The Daughter Of A Preacher Man, A Good Life In Detroit, Tragedy Strikes, A Brief History Of Gospel Music