Farewell to Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul leaves us.


Farewell to Aretha Franklin: the Queen of Soul passes away in Detroit at the age of 76.

Singer Aretha Franklin has passed away, at the age of 76: in recent days there had been reports of her deteriorating health (she had pancreatic cancer), and today came the announcement of her death, which took place in Detroit. An icon of soul music (so much so that she was dubbed “the Queen of Soul”), as well as of other genres such as gospel, jazz, and R&B, during her long career Aretha Franklin won twenty-one Grammy Awards (eight of them between 1968 and 1975 in the same category: “Best Female R&B Vocal Performance”) and was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the famous Cleveland museum that brings together the best of rock music (Aretha Franklin’s induction is dated January 3, 1987).

Included in several lists of the best singers in music history, Aretha Franklin, born in Memphis on March 25, 1942, is best known for her big hit Respect in 1967, a reinterpretation of a 1965 Otis Redding song (as well as first song of hers to reach No. 1 on the charts), but other hit songs such as I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) (her first big hit, the first song to reach No. 1 on the U.S. R&B charts), Chain of Fools, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, Think, Baby I Love You, I’m in Love, and many, many others can also be mentioned.

Her versatility also led her to experiment with other genres (e.g., dance with 1985’s Freeway of Love ) and to collaborate with many other artists, for example, with George Michael, with whom in 1986 she recorded I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) (the second and last song to top the charts, after Respect), with the Eurythmics, with George Benson, and others. Endless is the list of singers and musicians who have been inspired by her, who have tried to imitate her powerful voice, who have attempted to evoke her style. There are a total of 52 albums Aretha Franklin has released in a career spanning nearly 60 years.

Image: Aretha Franklin sings the song My Country ’tis of thee in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 20, 2009 during Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony as U.S. president. Photo: Cecilio Ricardo

Farewell to Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul leaves us.
Farewell to Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul leaves us.


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