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New Directions

Trying Something New

During her first years at Arista, Aretha worked with Arif Mardin, who had arranged some of her early work at Atlantic Records. She tried many musical styles, though her trademark soul vocals were still strong. Following the release of her first Arista album, she went to England to perform for Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, and his fiancée, Lady Diana. Returning home, she performed in New York City in concerts that received great reviews. She went back into the studio and recorded a second album, Love All the Hurt Away. Though some of her singles were successful, Aretha's albums did not perform as well as she hoped.

Happily, she was earning Grammy nominations again. In 1981, she won a Grammy for the song “Hold on I'm Comin’.” The Grammy Award restored Aretha's confidence, and she invited singer Luther Vandross to produce her next album, Get It Right. Aretha knew that Vandross had talent, and she was happy to get the perspective of a younger performer. The first single, “Jump to It,” was a huge hit and went to number one on the R & B charts. Aretha's son Clarence wrote “Givin’ In” for the album, and her son Teddy played guitar.

Additional topics

Musician BiographiesAretha FranklinNew Directions - Trying Something New, Moving On, Financial Woes, Who's Zoomin' Who?, Recognition And Grief