Aretha Louise Franklin, 76, August 16th, of pancreatic cancer in Michigan. Known as ‘The Queen of Soul’. She was born to a religious family, her father was well known Detroit Reverend C.L. Franklin and hosted many celebrities and musicians at their home. She showed musical gifts from a young age playing piano and singing for church. Her father supported her desire to perform popular music and managed her early career.
Her early hits for Columbia marked her as a rising star but it was after a switch to Atlantic in 1967 that she rose to become a living legend recording some of the most recognizable hits of the era, including “Respect” and “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Women.” She became the first woman to be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
She wore the mantle of Queen of Soul with grace and lent her money and celebrity to support civil rights causes, her father’s congregation, and the city of Detroit. She sang for several Presidents including at Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2008.
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