ARETHA FRANKLIN FACTS:
Members: Aretha Franklin
Genre: Gospel Music / R&B Music
Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee
Awards: 18 Grammy Awards, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, UK Music Hall of Fame inductee, Golden Nest Award at African American Musical Awards
Albums: I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You), Aretha Arrives, Hey Now Hey (The Other Side of the Sky), With Everything I Feel in Me, Almighty Fire, What You See Is What You Sweat, A Rose Is Still a Rose, A Woman Falling Out of Love
Hits: "Respect", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman", "The House That Jack Built", "Rock Steady"
Other: Holds the record for most Female R&B Vocal Performance Grammy wins with 11 to her name
The original Queen of Soul is not only one of the biggest voices in the history of soul music, but she is a fixture of American popular music and culture. Franklin took soul and made it her own by blending elements of gospel, jazz and pop music to turn her into the beloved entertainer that she is today.
Franklin got her start singing at the Detroit church of her father, Reverend C.L. Franklin, and joined her sisters Carolyn and Erma in the choir. She made her first recordings as a gospel singer at age 14 and started to make waves when she hit the gospel circuit. She was heavily pursued by record companies before signing with Columbia in the early 1960s.
Aretha Franklin made an immediate hit in the R&B market, and many of her tracks made it into the Top 10 of the Billboard R&B charts. However, after six years and 10 albums with Columbia, she only had one critical pop success to show for it in 1961's "Rock-a-bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody," which peaked at number 37 on the charts.
When Franklin moved to Atlantic Records in 1966, she would begin to build her legend as one of the pillars of soul music. She sold millions of albums, including the successful record "Respect," which reached the top of the R&B and pop charts in 1967. Other hits include "Baby I Love You," "Since You've Been Gone" and "Chain of Fools." This proved to be one of the biggest eras of her musical career that saw her on the cover of Time magazine, receiving an award from Martin Luther King Jr. and achieving critical success.
The 1970s were just as promising for the soul singer with hits like "Don't Play That Song," "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "Spanish Harlem." Over the years, Franklin worked with many of the biggest names in the industry, such as her duet with the Eurythmics, "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves." She also recorded a duet with George Michael called "I Knew You Were Waiting (for Me)" in 1987 that would reach No. 1 on the pop charts and win a Grammy.
Aretha Franklin is one of the giants of musical history who used her soulful and powerful voice to become an enduring cultural legend, making an indelible mark on American pop culture.