Aretha Franklin

Biography

Aretha Franklin (born 25.3.1942)

Aretha Franklin is a legendary American soul singer. She has been awarded with 20 Grammy Awards and during 1968 and 1975 the Best Female R&B Vocal Performance Grammy was nicknamed 'The Aretha Award'.

Aretha Franklin: Childhood

Aretha was born in Memphis, Tennessee. Her father was a Baptist minister, married to Barbara Siggers Franklin, until they separated, when Aretha was six. Four years later, Barbara died of a heart attack, and the family moved to Detroit.

Franklin was considered something of a child prodigy, for both her vocal and piano-playing skills and she had signed a record deal with Checker Records.

Aretha Franklin: Early Career & Impending Fame

Aretha's first two children were born in 1954 and 1956, putting a brief dampener on her musical career. Inspired by Sam Cooke and Dinah Washington, she decided to concentrate her efforts on pop music, rather than gospel. Turning down contracts from RCA and Motown, Aretha eventually signed with Columbia Records in 1960. Her early hits with the label included 'Rock-A-Bye Your Baby (With A Dixie Melody)', 'Today I Sing The Blues' and 'Operation Heartbreak'.

Disappointed with her lack of commercial success, Franklin switched to Atlantic Records and in 1967, released 'I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You). It was a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

Her next single, 'R.E.S.P.E.C.T.' was the track that truly launched Aretha Franklin to fame. Her debut album, I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You, soon sold over a million copies and she released a chain of hit singles, including '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman'.

Over the next few years, Franklin continued her reign of success with tracks such as 'Think', 'I Say A Little Prayer' (originally by Dionne Warwick) and 'Spanish Harlem' (originally by Ben E. King), which reached number two in the US charts.

Labelled 'Queen of Soul' by the media, Aretha Franklin went on to sell millions of albums, including Amazing Grace (1972) and the slightly less successful Hey Now Hey (The Other Side of the Sky). In 1974, 'Until You Come Back To Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)' was a number three hit in the US but the mid 1970s saw the rise in popularity of disco music and Aretha's favourable position with her record label began to decline. Her 1975 album You saw disappointing sales figures and the industry appeared to have shifted its focus to younger singers such as Natalie Cole, Chaka Khan and Donna Summer.

Sparkle, released in 1976, was produced by Curtis Mayfield and was Aretha's first Gold-certified album since Amazing Grace. However, its successors (Sweet Passion, Almighty Fire and La Diva) fared less well. In 1979, her contract with Atlantic Records drew to a close.

Aretha Franklin: Return to Grace

In 1980, Aretha Franklin appeared in the film The Blues Brothers, singing 'Think'. Later that year, she signed a deal with Arista Records and a duet with George Benson, 'Love All the Hurt Away', launched Aretha back to the top of the charts. Her 1982 album, Jump To It, was produced by Luther Vandross and earned her her first Gold Disc award since 1976. The following year, the pair collaborated on Get It Right, with comparatively poor results.

In 1985, she released Who's Zoomin' Who?, her first ever Platinum certified album, featuring a duet with The Eurythmics and the huge hit 'Freeway of Love'. The next year, she released Aretha, which included a duet with George Michael. The cover's artwork was the last work produced by Andy Warhol before he died.

1987 saw a return to gospel for Aretha with One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, which was followed by Through the Storm and What You See is What You Sweat.

In 1998, Franklin released A Rose Is Still A Rose: a more contemporary effort than her previous albums. The title track was produced by Lauryn Hill of the Fugees and proved to be a huge hit for Aretha. Subsequent releases include 2003's So Damn Happy and 2007 duets album, Jewels in the Crown: All-Star Duets With The Queen.



Biography by Contactmusic.com
Read More
0
5
Subscribe to Aretha Franklin alerts

Aretha Franklin And Tyler Perry Pose On The Red Carpet For The 'Selma' New York Premiere

Footage | 16th December 2014

The New York premiere of 'Selma' took place at the Ziegfeld Theatre. The red carpet in New York was graced by the likes of Aretha Franklin, and American actor, director and screen/playwright, Tyler Perry.The premier...

Tags: Aretha Franklin - Tyler Perry - Wendell Pierce - Celia Weston - Corey Reynolds - Dylan Baker

Sharon Osbourne And Aretha Franklin Were Among Arrivals At 2014 Billboard Women In Music Luncheon - Part 1

Footage | 15th December 2014

Legends from Sharon Osbourne to Aretha Franklin were spotted at the 2014 Billboard Women in Music Luncheon held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. Sharon posed alongside Universal Music Group executive vice president Michele...

Tags: Sharon Osbourne - Aretha Franklin - Colbie Caillat - Ingrid Michaelson - Betty Who - Hayley Williams

Aretha Puts Diva On Top Of Diva

by Charlotte Court | News | Music / Festivals | 30th September 2014

Known as one of music’s great divas herself, Aretha Franklin’s newest album of covers puts diva on top of diva as the Queen of Soul tackles some of music’s biggest tunes, starting with a version...

Tags: Aretha Franklin - Adele - David Letterman

Aretha Franklin - Rolling In The Deep Audio

Video | 29th September 2014

Aretha Franklin has released the first single off her upcoming cover album, 'Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics' which is set for a release date in October, 2014. The single is a cover of...

Tags: Aretha Franklin

'Motown The Musical' Tours The US - But What Else Do We Love About Detroit Music?

by Holly Williams | News | Music / Festivals | 21st August 2014

If anywhere has a legendary music scene in North America, it's Detroit, Michigan. With a culture so rich in genre from Motown to rock, it's no wonder people write songs about it - even if...

Tags: Berry Gordy - Marvin Gaye - The Temptations - Stevie Wonder - Diana Ross - Smokey Robinson

Aretha Franklin Lashes Out At Canadian Fast Food Join For Showing Her No Respect

by Nick Hill | News | Music / Festivals | 28th July 2014

Legendary singer Aretha Franklin has publically scolded an employee at Johnny Rockets, a Canadian fast food franchise, for being disrespectful. The accused waitress reportedly "screamed" at Franklin for attempting to eat her takeout inside the...

Tags: Aretha Franklin

R-E-S-P-E-C-T Was Not Served To Aretha Franklin In Ontario Fast Food Joint

by Victoria Pavlova | News | Music / Festivals | 27th July 2014

Who could even have the nerve to treat Aretha Franklin without R-E-S-P-E-C-T? A Johnny Rockets server in Niagara Falls, Ontario, apparently. After an apology for the shameless use of that reference, here’s the rundown of...

Tags: Aretha Franklin

Beyoncé "Honoured & Humbled" By Hall Of Fame Exhibition

by Elinor Cosgrave | News | Music / Festivals | 18th July 2014

Beyoncé's fabulous collection of stage outfits in addition to some of her red carpet looks will be the focus of a new exhibition hosted at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum. Beyonce's 'Single...

Tags: Beyonce Knowles - Aretha Franklin - The Supremes - Peter Gabriel - Beatles - Nirvana

Renee Fleming Announced For Super Bowl 2014: A Look Back On Some Of The Great Anthem Singers Through The Years

by Victoria Pavlova | News | Music / Festivals | 22nd January 2014

Opera soprano Renee Fleming has been announced to sing the “Star-Spangled Banner” at the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Feb. 2. Fleming’s appointment is a pretty big deal,...

Tags: Renee Fleming - Aretha Franklin - Garth Brooks - Beyonce Knowles - Jennifer Hudson - Christina Aguilera

Miley Cyrus Covers Up More Than Usual At FGI Night Of Stars Gala - Part 2

Footage | 24th October 2013

It truly was what it said on the tin at the Fashion Group International's 30th Annual Night Of Stars held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York, as the likes of pop sensation Miley Cyrus...

Tags: Miley Cyrus - Wall Street - Aretha Franklin - Clive Davis - Marc Jacobs - Diane Von Furstenberg

Muscle Shoals

Video | 3rd October 2013

When Rick Hall opened up his record studio FAME Studios in the small town of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, it became something of a rock 'n' roll myth when some of the finest music ever written...

Tags: Aretha Franklin - Bono - Gregg Allman - Mick Jagger - Etta James - Alicia Keys

Muscle Shoals

Video | 27th September 2013

Muscle Shoals was just a town in Alabama with an extraordinary habit of producing some of the finest music in the world. It started out with Rick Hall and his FAME Studios, producing hits from...

Tags: Aretha Franklin - Bono - Gregg Allman - Mick Jagger - Etta James - Alicia Keys

Undisclosed Illness Causes Aretha Franklin To Cancel Michigan Show

by Victoria Pavlova | News | Lifestyle / Showbiz | 13th July 2013

Soul legend Aretha Franklin has cancelled a Michigan show due to an ongoing medical treatment. According to Reuters, Franklin issued an open letter of apology to her fans, explaining that there was a “miscalculation” with...

Tags: Aretha Franklin

R.I.P Bobby Bland: "The Lion Of The Blues" Singer Dies Aged 83

by Lauren James | News | Music / Festivals | 24th June 2013

The 'Turn On Your Love Light' star, also known as Bobby "Blues" Bland and "The Lion of the Blues", was extremely influential in the blues genre, establishing a unique sound that incorporating gospel-influenced singing into...

Tags: Bb King - Aretha Franklin - Van Morrison

Awkward: Did Aretha Franklin Already Know The 'American Idol' Result?

by Michael West | News | Movies / TV / Theatre | 17th May 2013

Err, shooting into first place for the most awkward piece of television for 2013, it's Aretha Franklin telling everyone who won American Idolseason twelve before the result was officially announced! Appearing via satellite from New...

Tags: Aretha Franklin - American Idol - Ryan Seacrest - Candice Glover

Stars Have Their Say on Beyonce Miming The National Anthem...

by Jack de Aguilar | News | Lifestyle / Showbiz | 23rd January 2013

...Or not miming the national anthem, as we can't quite figure out whom to believe. Either way, Beyonce's fellow celebs have weighed in on the controversy, but first, some context: The U.S. Marine Band said...

Tags: Beyonce Knowles - Aretha Franklin - Jennifer Lopez

Beyonce Lip Sync Has Aretha Franklin "Cracking Up" With Laughter

by Michael West | News | Music / Festivals | 23rd January 2013

Beyonce's lip sync throughout the Star Spangled Banner at President Obama's inauguration ceremony had one soul legend in tears, though not tears of joy. Frankly, we're not quite sure why Aretha Franklin was having a...

Tags: Beyonce Knowles - Aretha Franklin

Grammys Week Tribute For Bruce Springsteen Features Neil Young, Mumford And Sons

by Hayley Avron | News | Music / Festivals | 2nd January 2013

All eyes will be on Bruce Springsteen during Grammy’s week, as the New Jersey rocker will be the recipient of the MusiCares Person of the Year award. To celebrate the honour, a Bruce Springsteen tribute...

Tags: Bruce Springsteen - Elton John - Mumford And Sons - Jon Stewart - Kenny Chesney - Alabama Shakes

Stars Come Out To Pay Tribute To Marvin Hamlisch

by Contributor | News | | 19th September 2012

The stars came out to pay tribute to the late American composer and conductor Marvin Hamlisch who passed away last month aged 68, with Barbara Streisand, Aretha Franklin and Liza Minelli appearing at a memorial...

Tags: Marvin Hamlisch - Barbra Streisand - Aretha Franklin - Michael Douglas - Sarah Jessica Parker

Aretha Franklin and Paul Reubens Among The Screen And Singing Sensations Assembled - TV Land Awards Part 2

Footage | 16th April 2012

Aretha Franklin and her husband, William Wilkerson, were first to grace the red carpet at the annual event, now in it's tenth edition. Following on from the soul diva were the cast of TV series...

Tags: Aretha Franklin

Back to top

Aretha Franklin Images

More Aretha Franklin Pictures

Back to top

Comments

Aretha Fan's picture

Aretha Fan

On this day the Orthodox Christians remember and Commemorate Saint Arethas who lived during the sixth century and for whom many have been named, even unto this day.The Martyr Arethas and with him 4299 Martyrs suffered for the Lord Jesus Christ in the sixth century. Arethas was prefect of the Christian city of Negran in Arabia. The Arabian (or Omirite) king, Dunaan, who was Jewish, decided to eliminate Christianity from the land. He issued an edict that all followers of Christ were to be put to death. Because the inhabitants of Negran remained faithful to the Lord, Dunaan came with a large army to destroy the city. At the city walls of Negran the king's heralds announced that Dunaan would only spare those who renounced Christ and referred to His Cross as a "sign of malediction." Not daring to assault the Christian city by force, Dunaan resorted to a ruse. Dunaan swore an oath that he would not force the Christians into Judaism, but would merely collect a tribute from Negran. The inhabitants of the city would not heed the advice of St Arethas, and putting their trust in Dunaan, they opened the city gates. The very next day Dunaan gave orders to light an immense fire and throw all the clergy of the city into it in order to frighten the rest of the Christians. 427 men were burned. He also threw the prefect Arethas and the other chief men into prison. Then the oppressor sent his messengers through the city to convert the Christians to Judaism. Dunaan himself conversed with those inhabitants brought from the prisons, saying, "I do not demand that you should renounce the God of heaven and earth, nor do I want you to worship idols, I want merely that you do not believe in Jesus Christ, since the Crucified One was a man, and not God." The holy martyrs replied that Jesus is God the Word, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, Who for the salvation of mankind was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary. Those suffering said, "We shall not abjure Christ, since He is Life for us. To die for Him is to find Life." More than four thousand Christians, first the men, and then the women, both the aged and children, from the city of Negran and surrounding villages suffered martyrdom for Christ. yet before died, they had rebuked the persecutor with such boldness that he said even the men had not insulted him so contemptuously. So great was their faith that not one woman was found to deny Christ in all Najran, although some of them suffered torments more bitter than most of the men. In alliance with Byzantium, the Ethiopian King Elesbaan liberated Najran from Dhu Nuwas soon after and raised up churches in honor of these Martyrs. Najran became a place of pilgrimage until the rise of Islam a century later. At the end of his life King Elesbaan, who was also called Caleb, retired into solitude as a hermit; he sent his crown to Jerusalem as an offering to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. He also is commemorated on this day as a saint. Saint Arethas' name in Arabic, Harith, means "plowman, tiller," much the same as "George" does in Greek. Happy Name Day Aretha Franklin.

5 years 3 months ago
Report
View Comments

Jck Woodhead's picture

Jck Woodhead

"My country, 'tis of thee..." + urban yodeling = D-I-S-R-E-S-P-E-C-T

6 years 1 week ago
Report
View Comments

lalagaines's picture

lalagaines

Aretha love you

6 years 1 week ago
Report
View Comments

cutebig's picture

cutebig

I like her for her duet. She is the pround of overweight people. Many big people at largeplace.com like her too.

7 years 2 months ago
Report
View Comments

goliathfa's picture

goliathfa

That was the best gallery ever of Aretha , she is the sexiest woman alive I am really enjoying those photos. They show off her incredible body soooo well!

5 years 1 week ago
Report
View Comments