How 'Queen Of Soul' Aretha Franklin Shaped Music And American Culture

Emmett Rice
August 18, 2018

Today, Aretha Franklin passed away at the age of 76, surrounded by friends and family in her Detroit home. She died at 9:50 her home in Detroit.

US President Donald Trump expressed his condolences to the family of, "a person I knew well - she worked for me on numerous occasions, she was terrific". Thank you for your compassion and prayers. "She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever". "There were times that we were asked to go to the back of the restaurant - say - or we couldn't use the bathrooms".

Aretha Franklin performs onstage at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Commemorates Its 25th Year And Honors Founder Sir Elton John During New York Fall Gala at Cathedral of St. John the Divine on November 7, 2017 in New York City. Franklin became the first female singer inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Franklin won 18 Grammys, and had 17 Top Ten US chart hits over a music career spanning seven decades.

When Franklin recorded "Respect" on Valentine's Day in 1967, she kept most of the original lyrics but transformed the meaning of the song with the addition of a bridge and the call-and-response of her sisters.

She sang at Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009, and the former president - who was brought to tears by another of her performances in Washington in 2015 - was quick to issue a powerful tribute with his wife.

The legendary singer was born in Memphis, Tennessee, but grew up in Detroit, Michigan.

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Paul McCartney called Franklin an inspiration and "the Queen of our souls", while Diana Ross hailed her "wonderful golden spirit". In an excellent tribute in the Providence Journal , Andy Smith describes a phone interview he did with Franklin in 1997.

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"Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated - she was one of my favourite pianists", he said.

It was a fitting moment, as well, as Franklin worked tirelessly over the years, fighting for civil rights, her cover of the hit "Respect" becoming an anthem for the movement in the 1960's and for women's rights.

McKinney - who first met Franklin when she was 17 - toured with the Queen of Soul as recently as 2016. "As young as I was, that was the beginning". I'm on the other side of the mic from Aretha Franklin and she's treating me like an equal-obviously I'm not, but she was treating me with such respect'. "She will forever be our Queen of Soul".

"Right now I want to give a shout out to all she's done for music", Lonnie McFadden said on stage. She was also not in the photo that Fox ran on air.

"She represents music. Black soulful music".

Franklin, known as the Queen of Soul, was 76. We shared the same birthday - and that meant so much to me'.

She had ended the performance with what were see as cryptic words at the time: "Please keep me in your prayers".

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