UnNews:UnNews remembers Aretha Franklin

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

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UnNews is saddened to learn that, just days after being hospitalized and then put in hospice at her Detroit home, Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul, had died at the age of 76.

Franklin came from humble beginnings, singing gospel in the choir of her father's New Bethel Baptist Church. In 1960, she pursued secular music and signed with Columbia, to only modest success. Her signing with Atlantic Records in 1967 brought her great success. Some of her earliest hits include "Respect" (originally a minor hit for Otis Redding), Carole King's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," "Spanish Harlem," and "Think."

By the end of the 60s, she was crowned The Queen of Soul. She left Atlantic in 1979 and signed with Clive Davis's Arista Records. The Luther Vandross-produced album's title track, "Jump to It," was her first Top 40 hit since 1976. Her next album, Who's Zooming Who, was her first Platinum album and spawned the hits "Freeway of Love," "Who's Zomming Who," and "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves" (with The Eurythmics). Also during this time, Franklin appeared in a cameo as a waitress in The Blues Brothers.

In 1998, she scored her final Top 40 hit with "A Rose is Still a Rose." That same year, she memorably filled in for an ill Luciano Pavarotti, singing below her normal range on Giacomo Puccini's "Nessun dorma." In 1999, she provided her voice for the Pepsi commercials with Hallie Eisenberg, and cameoed as a diner patron.

With 112, Franklin is the most charted female artist in Billboard history. Among her other hits:

  • "Rock Steady" (Not to be confused with The Whispers' 1987 hit)
  • "Chain of Fools"
  • Stevie Wonder's "Until You Come Back to Me"
  • "Something I Can Feel"
  • Her George Michael duet, "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)"
  • The Rolling Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash"

This is a huge loss for the music world. She had so much sass and personality. There was no one like her. She was unmistakably Aretha.

“We all require and want respect, man or woman, black or white. It's our basic human right.”
Aretha Franklin
1942 - 2018