Voice of Her Time
An Uncomfortable Spotlight
In late June 1968, Aretha was featured on the cover of Time magazine, which was doing a story on the success of soul music. Aretha was thrilled to be included in such a major magazine, but the results of the interview were not what she expected. The Time article focused on some extremely personal areas of Aretha's life. It referred to her struggles with weight and smoking and her marriage to Ted White, suggesting that he was physically abusive. The article also linked Aretha's life directly to the lyrics of the songs she sang, especially the sadder blues numbers.
Aretha felt the article was unfair. She was angry that it included quotes from Mahalia Jackson and her own brother, Cecil Franklin, that she felt were untrue. Even as a major star, Aretha didn't feel she had a fair chance to tell her side of the story. In reaction to the Time article, Aretha didn't give interviews for several years.