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Aretha Franklin's Birthday Celebration

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The Queen Of Soul Has Died

Aretha Franklin passed away in a Suburban Detroit hospital.

Franklin was born in Memphis, Tenn. in 1942, the daughter of the famous pastor and civil rights activist C. L. Franklin. Before Aretha’s 5th birthday, the family moved to Detroit when Pastor Franklin became pastor of the famous New Bethel Baptist Church. The Church is where Franklin began her stellar career as a child.

When Franklin was 14, her father bringing her on the road with him during his speaking tours to sing in the church. She also signed her first record contract and released her first album “Songs of Faith” in 1956.

By 18, she persuaded her father to allow her to sing secular music and was signed to Columbia records in 1960 where she would release her first secular album, Aretha: With The Ray Bryant Combo.

Her 1967 album (and 11th studio album) “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” would catapult Franklin into superstardom. The album contained the singles “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” “Baby, Baby, Baby” “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” and the song which may still to this day be her biggest, “Respect.” February 1968, Franklin earned the first two of her Grammys including the debut category for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

Franklin’s success carried over into the 70’s with top-ten billboard singles “Spanish Harlem,” & “Day Dreaming” and worked with acclaimed singer/producer Curtis Mayfield on for the soundtrack to the movie “Sparkle.” The 70’s would also mark her return to her Gospel roots with the album “Amazing Grace.” The album would go on to become the biggest selling Gospel album of all time.

The 1980’s would mark a comeback for Franklin. She would make an appearance in the 1980 hit movie “Blues Brothers.” more hits include “Freeway Of Love,” and the George Michael duet “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me.”

Throughout her lengthy career, Franklin accumulated 18 Grammy awards, including one for Lifetime Achievement. Franklin was also the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 & inducted to the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012.

Rest In Peace Aretha Franklin. She was 76 years old.

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