[106], Franklin was also a strong supporter for Native American rights. [1] She had often been described as a great singer and musician due to "vocal flexibility, interpretive intelligence, skillful piano-playing, her ear, her experience". [187][188] Asteroid 249516 Aretha was named in her honor in 2014. [120] After a contentious marriage that involved domestic violence, Franklin separated from White in 1968 and divorced him in 1969. [99] According to David Remnick, what "distinguishes her is not merely the breadth of her catalog or the cataract force of her vocal instrument; it's her musical intelligence, her way of singing behind the beat, of spraying a wash of notes over a single word or syllable, of constructing, moment by moment, the emotional power of a three-minute song. She is renowned for her soul and R&B recordings (on many, of which, she accompanied herself on keyb… read more [29] He also helped her sign her first recording deal with J.V.B. [140], In 2010, Franklin canceled a number of concerts to have surgery for an undisclosed tumor. [58] After being cleared of wrongdoing, Jones subsequently enjoyed a brief career of her own, during which she was herself the subject of an impersonation. https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/16/entertainment/aretha-franklin-dead In 2012, Franklin had plans to marry her longtime companion Willie Wilkerson.

She was made Whitney's honorary aunt (not a godmother as has been occasionally misreported), and Whitney often referred to her as "Auntie Ree". [137] A former chain smoker who struggled with alcoholism, she quit smoking in 1992. In 1971, Franklin became the first R&B performer to headline Fillmore West, later that year releasing the live album Aretha Live at Fillmore West.

That evening after the show had already begun, Luciano Pavarotti himself contacted show producers and said he was too ill to perform the opera aria "Nessun dorma" as planned.

[24] Serving as her manager, C. L. Franklin agreed to the move and helped to produce a two-song demo that soon was brought to the attention of Columbia Records, who agreed to sign her in 1960. Think by Aretha Franklin, last played Aug, 11 2020. [91] It peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Top Classical Albums chart before her death and rose to number 2 after her death. [46], Franklin was the mother of four sons. Some of these releases were from the acclaimed albums Spirit in the Dark and Young, Gifted and Black. Record label owner Berry Gordy was also looking to sign Franklin and her elder sister Erma to his Tamla label. The album sold well over a million copies thanks to the hits "Freeway of Love", the title track, and "Another Night". During this time, Franklin would occasionally travel with The Soul Stirrers. I'm going to see her free if there is any justice in our courts, not because I believe in communism, but because she's a Black woman and she wants freedom for Black people". Aretha moved back to Detroit in late 1982 to assist with the care of her father, who died at Detroit's New Light Nursing Home on July 27, 1984. [36], After turning 18, Franklin confided to her father that she aspired to follow Sam Cooke in recording pop music, and moved to New York. [127], Franklin's music business friends included Dionne Warwick, Mavis Staples, and Cissy Houston, who began singing with Franklin as members of the Sweet Inspirations. 69 on the Billboard chart. [48][49] In January 1967, she traveled to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, to record at FAME Studios and recorded the song "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)", backed by the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. The song's b-side, "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man", reached the R&B top 40, peaking at number 37. [83], In December 2015, Franklin gave an acclaimed performance of "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors during the section for honoree Carole King, who co-wrote the song. Recording equipment was installed inside New Bethel Baptist Church and nine tracks were recorded. [88][89] She returned to Detroit's Ford Field on Thanksgiving Day 2016 to once again perform the national anthem before the game between the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions. In 2014, Franklin was signed under RCA Records, controller of the Arista catalog and a sister label to Columbia via Sony Music Entertainment, and worked with Clive Davis. From there, Franklin found homes across genres: not just a testament to the versatility of her music, but to how the world had been shaped by it. She denied that the ailment had anything to do with pancreatic cancer, as had been reported. At the age of 18, she embarked on a secular-music career as a recording artist for Columbia Records. [124], Franklin's sisters, Erma and Carolyn, were professional musicians and spent years performing background vocals on Franklin's recordings. [125] Her half-sister, Carol Kelley (née Jennings; 1940-2019), is C. L. Franklin's daughter by Mildred Jennings, a then 12-year-old congregant of New Salem Baptist Church in Memphis where C. L. was pastor. [181] Franklin was the first individual woman to receive a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation. The album of the same name was released after the single.

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