Aretha Franklin

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Aretha Franklin

Aretha Louise Franklin, the daughter of a minister, was born in Memphis, Tennessee on 25 March 1942. At seven years of age the family moved to Detroit where Aretha sang at her father’s church.

As a teenager she was signed to a recording contract by Columbia Records, where nine releases in five years had limited success with the exception of “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody” in 1961.

Moving to Atlantic Records in 1967 and teaming with famed producers Jerry Wexler and Arif Mardin, the new “Queen of Soul” exploded with dozens of #1 hits on the R&B charts, none any bigger than her multi-million selling pop single “Respect” in her first year at Atlantic.

Among her chart toppers were:

  • “I Never Loved A Man”
  • “Baby, I LoveYou”
  • “Chain of Fools”
  • “Since You’ve Been Gone”
  • “Think”
  • “Bridge Over Troubled Water”
  • “Spanish Harlem”
  • “Day Dreaming”
  • “Until You Come Back to Me”
  • “Break it to me Gently”
  • “Freeway of Love”
  • “Who’s Zoomin’ Who”
  • “I Know You Were Waiting For Me”
  • “Don’t Play That Song”
  • “Rock Steady”
  • “I’m In Love”

Dozens of Aretha’s successes have landed on the top five, the top ten and the top twenty of the pop music charts.

No other female recording artist has landed on the top 100 singles chart more than Aretha Franklin. Starting in 1961 and ending in 1990, Aretha’s Columbia, Atlantic and Arista recordings charted 72 times.

Winning eighteen Grammy awards, Aretha Franklin in 1987 became the first female to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton, the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bush and was inducted into the United Kingdom Hall of Fame in 2005.

A resident of her beloved Detroit, Aretha continues to perform at special occasions. In 2007 Aretha Franklin was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.

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