Aretha Franklin, ‘The Queen Of Soul,’ Has Died At 76

Calvin Saunders
August 17, 2018

"We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world".

"The hits kept on coming through the rest of the '60s - including "(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone", "Ain't No Way", "The House That Jack Built", as well as her inimitable interpretations of "I Say a Little Prayer" and "The Weight". "The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds".

In 1979, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and had her voice declared a MI "natural resource" in 1985.

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Franklin was only 12 when she gave birth to her first child.

Franklin's success continued into the 1970s with hits such as Spanish Harlem, Bridge Over Troubled Water and Day Dreaming. She died at 9:50 a.m.at her home in Detroit.

After half a century in the music business, Franklin created her own label and released "A Woman Falling Out of Love", a record that only had modest sales in the U.S and stayed on the Billboard charts for just two weeks. Franklin's grandmother, Rachel, and gospel legend Mahalia Jackson helped raise Franklin and her siblings, and her father began managing her gospel career when she turned 14.

She was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

I'll never forget the emotion she displayed when she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her iconic performances and productions came to define the term "soul music" in the 20th century, setting the standard for black female vocal excellence.

With Obama, in particular, Franklin shared a special bond.

Franklin announced her partial retirement previous year, saying she would release one last album and perform at "some select things".

Years in the limelight had dimmed her capacity to be overawed though, it appeared. "I am retiring this year", she told WDIV Local 4 in Detroit early in 2017, per Rolling Stone. She popped up in The Blues Brothers, sang with James Brown and Frank Sinatra, didnt flinch at duets with young upstarts like Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey.

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On occasions, she would resemble something akin to a force of nature to those who found themselves on the wrong side of musical royalty.

In her indelible late-1960s hits, Ms. Franklin brought the righteous fervor of gospel music to secular songs that were about much more than romance.

Earlier in the week it was widely reported that Franklin was "gravely ill." She once said she's using that gift "to the highest degree possible" according to a report on Yahoo.

Last year, Franklin announced her plans to retire after the release of her new album in an interview with WDIV-TV.

She was last seen performing in August 2017 at Elton John's AIDS Foundation Party, where Showbiz 411 claimed she was "fighting exhaustion and dehydration".

Ritz said Franklin has always relied on her optimism to cope with any struggles she endured when not on stage.

Forays into politics and other aspects of public life were also rare.

Her biggest hit, "Respect", became an anthem of the civil rights and women's movements. She could play instruments as well as sing, so for him, she was the music itself.

Here are five of the Queen of Soul's most important contributions to civil rights and politics in the United States.

Ritz said Franklin's determination to keep her personal life away from the spotlight may have started while she was married to her first husband, one-time manager Ted White.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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