7 essential Aretha Franklin recordings

Carla Harmon
August 17, 2018

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, has died at her Detroit home at age 76.

Following news of Franklin's passing, Obama echoed the statement - celebrating her life with a heartfelt post on Twitter. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family.

Hundreds of fans, friends and fellow singers expressed their gratitude for the artist's contributions to the music industry, including Diana Ross, Paul McCartney and the Obamas. The last time she appeared in public was at the Elton John AIDS Foundation party in NY last November and her last performance was in Philadelphia in August 2017. Aretha was a rising star in the R&B world but to reach the next level of stardom, she knew she had to shake things up.

In 2010, she suffered serious health problems, but continued to perform until late previous year, singing last in November 2017 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in NY.

Franklin was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1987 - a year before the Beatles were inducted.

Franklin also sang at the 2009 inaguaration of former President Barack Obama, who described her as someone who "helped define the American experience".

'We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. The daughter of a Baptist preacher, young Aretha got her start in the church choir.

Franklin passed away at 9:50 am (1350 GMT) surrounded by her family and loved ones, her family said in a statement issued by her publicist.

The Recording Academy called Franklin "an incomparable artist" and "one of the most profound voices in music" whose "distinctive sound, unforgettable recordings, and giving spirit will continue to be celebrated worldwide". ("I liked him a lot", she confided.) "I wanna be what he wants when he wants it/And whenever he needs it", she sings with a sprightly, lilting delivery, nudging the "wants" with a syncopated subtlety recalling one of her clear progenitors, Ella Fitzgerald.

"King's jaw dropped as Franklin, in a floor-length fur coat, sat before a piano and belted out the 1967 hit "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman", written by King and songwriting partner Gerry Goffin.

"Respect" is more than just a soul track, and it's more than just a scorching anthem. "Not only was she a uniquely brilliant singer, but her commitment to civil rights made an indelible impact on the world".

"It's the sheer power of her voice and the unique phrasing that distinguish her from her peers".

"That wasn't my first introduction to her, but that was the first time of course I had a chance to see her live".

Pop icon Mariah Carey attributed her success to the "singers' singer".

Franklin signed with Columbia Records in 1960, and released the album Aretha the following year.

"I was talking to Smokey Robinson, my oldest best friend Smokey, talking about the fact that some doctors are not very well acquainted with faith healing", she told the AP.

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