Aretha Franklin

Feb. 14, 2005, midnight | By Fidan Karimova | 15 years, 9 months ago

Photo: Aretha Franklin, gospel and R&B singer and performer.

Through her mixture of blues, pop and rock, Aretha Franklin became the first person to bring Gospel singing to American popular music. With songs such as "Respect," Franklin has attained world recognition, 20 number one R&B hits, 15 Grammys and a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Franklin was born on March 25, 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee. Ever since she was young, music played an important role in her life. Franklin and her two sisters, Carolyn and Erma, who also had recording careers, sang in her Detroit New Bethel Church, where her father was a pastor. Franklin's parents urged the three girls to sing, and at the age of the 14, Franklin belted out "Precious Lord” for a congregation of 4,500. She immediately won the hearts of everyone there.

Her career was put in jeopardy when she turned 15, however, when she became a single mother; at 17, she already had two boys. Nevertheless, that did not stop her from receiving a singing contract with Columbia Records. During her time with Columbia, Franklin released many successful songs, of music. but many critics believed that she was moving away from her R&B and soul background. Franklin, however, never considered herself confined to a specific genre

When Franklin left Columbia to join Atlantic, her R&B career began, and she became the first female superstar of the 1960s with Top Ten hits between 1967 through 1968. In addition, Franklin became one of the biggest international recording artists of all pop musicians. Although there are not many current hits from the passionate singer, Franklin will always be known as the queen of soul.

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