Aretha Franklin: Queen of Soul

No other female singer has had as much of an effect on modern music then the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.   Born a gospel minister’s daughter in the ’40s, Aretha Franklin began her music career singing in church. This early influence would become one of Franklin’s most influential talents.  No one can sing a gospel song with as much heart and soul as the Queen herself. Right from the beginning, it could be heard that Aretha Franklin was something extraordinary. At 18 years old Franklin became a recording artist for Columbia Records.  It did not take long for the Queen to get her crown. She was known as the Queen of Soul by the late sixties.

Aretha Franklin created some of the most fantastic gospel and soul albums ever.  Albums such as Laughing on the Outside (1963), I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967), Amazing Grace (1972), Who’s Zoomin’ Who? (1985), and her greatest hits classic Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics (2014).  Rolling Stone magazine named Aretha Franklin the greatest singer of all time and her song list is the proof that this title does not come easy. Songs such as “Respect,” “Chain of Fools,” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” are so ingrained in our consciousness that they are part of the history that makes this country.  The songs have so much more significance than merely the music.  

Franklin, through her entire life, was an advocate for the less fortunate.  She was a steadfast supporter of Civil and Women’s Rights, not only for her time she donated to sing at events but her day to day actions that are unseen and unpublicized.   

Franklin in her 61-year career won 18 Grammy Awards, recorded 112 charted singles on Billboard (included 77 songs on the Hot 100), 17 top-ten pop singles, 20 number-one R&B singles which all adds up to more than 75 million records worldwide.  She is the most charted female artist in history. A planned film starring Jennifer Hudson is in the works which will pay tribute to Aretha Franklin’s astonishing career. The movie will highlight Franklin’s work through the 60s and 70s and will be in good hands with Hudson singing the Queen of Souls most significant hits.

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