photo courtesy of blavity.com
The Queen of Soul has passed away at the age of 76... Aretha Franklin passed away this morning from advanced pancreatic cancer, she was a national treasure.
Ms. Franklin set the bar in Pop music she was very influential in the way artist perform live with acapella sets showing their range and letting the public know this is the real deal from artist like Beyonce to Jennifer Hudson just to name a few. Her breakthrough came in 1961 when she made the transition from Gospel to Pop music. It wasn't until the late 1060s early 70's that she started to take off with hits like Respect, Chain of Fools, and Natural Woman she created a new sound combining gospel, soul, rock, and r&b into a mesh. She had an historical record 65 year long career.
Franklin was very impactful in music with 2 #1 hits on Billboard hot 100 R&B charts, 52 top 10 among a few recording feats. She was songwriter , an interpreter with 25 gold records, and 18 Grammy's. Rolling Stone called her the greatest singer of all time, as making many songs for woman of color, and people in general.
She was a child prodigy who played piano by ear, her father was a minister who moved to Detroit from Memphis where her mother left the family when she was 10, and died 4 years later. She gave birth to her first son at 13 years old followed by a second child at the age of 14. that's when her father started to manage her gospel career which led to touring with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. which in turn led her to singing at his funeral.
Ms. Franklin received her first Grammy Award with Respect she performed for 3 president, and even sang for the pope. Her health has declined over last decade, she was th first woman in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Its said that she performed at an Elton John Aids fundraiser not at peak health, but still gave a memorable performance, withnot a dry eye in the building.
6 decades of music and Live performances for millions demands RESPECT, making music of strength, hardship and heartbreak. She was the best when sitting behind a piano, and will be truly missed.