Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin is an American R&B and soul performer from Memphis, Tennessee. Her contributions to music and her resounding success have rightfully earned her the title “The Queen of Soul”.

Coming from a religious upbringing, she was featured on her father’s gospel caravan tour at a very early age. These tours garnered attention from celebrity gospel musicians like Clara Ward, James Cleveland, and Albertina Walker, who were drawn not only to Franklin’s amazing voice, but that of her father’s as well. These influences led her to venture into more mainstream pop music after she turned eighteen.

Initially finding mild success in the R&B and doo wop genre, Franklin found her calling, as many others have, when she recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. There, backed up by the famous Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, she would record her first smash hit “I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You.” This started a chain of hits, including “A Natural Woman”, “Chain of Fools”, and “I Say a Little Prayer”, and rocketed Franklin to stardom. Her continued success has given her dozens of Grammy Awards and earned her icon status, and she will forever be remembered for the gifts she has given American music.
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