Aretha Franklin

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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.

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Aretha Franklin Picture Gallery

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The Latest Aretha Franklin News

Aretha Franklin Suing Parody Website Bosses Over Feud Story

17th April 2014

Aretha Franklin is suing the bosses of an online parody website after they joked about a feud between her and...

Aretha Franklin Dismisses Reports Of Patti Labelle Fight

16th April 2014

Soul icon Aretha Franklin has laughed off rumours her pal Patti Labelle was recently arrested following a fight between the...

Aretha Franklin Celebrates Birthday With Star-studded Party

24th March 2014

Soul singer Aretha Franklin celebrated her 72nd birthday with a star-studded party in New York over the weekend (22-23Mar14).The Respect...

Aretha Franklin Celebrates 72nd Birthday With Star-studded Bash

23rd March 2014

Aretha Franklin celebrated her 72nd birthday with Denzel Washington.The soul legend threw a private party in New York City on...

Aretha Franklin And Patti Labelle To Headline White House Concert

5th March 2014

Singing legends Aretha Franklin and Patti Labelle are among the headliners for the upcoming Women of Soul concert hosted by...

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Aretha Franklin Footage Film / Movie Reviews

Tom Dowd & the Language of Music 2003, Review by Christopher Null

Who's Tom Dowd? Even if you're a music nut, you're unlikely to have heard of...

The Blues Brothers 1980, Review by Pete Croatto

The Blues Brothers has been re-released on DVD for its 25th anniversary. You've probably seen...

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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.

4 years 5 months ago
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Jck Woodhead's picture

Jck Woodhead

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

5 years 3 months ago
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lalagaines's picture


Aretha love you

5 years 3 months ago
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cutebig's picture


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

6 years 4 months ago
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goliathfa's picture


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!

4 years 3 months ago
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