Aretha, Columbia, 1961.
Electrifying, Columbia, 1962.
Tender Moving and Swinging, Columbia, 1962.
Laughing on the Outside, Columbia, 1962. Unforgettable, Columbia, 1964.
Songs of Faith, Columbia, 1964.
Running Out of Fools, Columbia, 1964.
Yeah, Columbia, 1965.
Soul Sister, Columbia, 1966.
Queen of Soul, Columbia, 1967.
Greatest Hits, Columbia, 1967.
I Never Loved a Man, Atlantic, 1967.
Once in a Lifetime, Atlantic, 1967.
Aretha Arrives, Atlantic, 1967.
Lady Soul, Atlantic, 1968.
Greatest Hits, Volume 2, Atlantic, 1968.
Live at Paris Olympia, Atlantic, 1968.
Aretha Now, Atlantic, 1968.
Soul 69, Atlantic, 1969.
Today I Sing the Blues, Atlantic, 1969.
Aretha Gold, Atlantic, 1969.
I Say a Little Prayer, Atlantic, 1969.
This Girl's in Love with You, Atlantic, 1970.
Spirit in the Dark, Atlantic, 1970.
Don't Play That Song, Atlantic, 1970.
Live at the Fillmore West, Atlantic, 1971.
Young, Gifted, and Black, Atlantic, 1971.
Aretha's Greatest Hits, Atlantic, 1971.
Amazing Grace, Atlantic, 1972.
Hey Hey Now, Atlantic, 1973.
Let Me into Your Life, Atlantic, 1974.
With Everything I Feel in Me, Atlantic, 1975.
You, Atlantic, 1975.
Sparkle, Atlantic, 1976.
Ten Years of Gold, Atlantic, 1976.
Sweet Passion, Atlantic, 1977.
Almighty Fire, Atlantic, 1978.
La Diva, Atlantic, 1979.
Aretha, Arista, 1980.
Aretha Gospel (rerelease of 1956 debut album), Sugar Hill, 1984.
Who's Zoomin' Who, Arista, 1985.
Aretha After Hours, Columbia, 1987.
Love All the Hurt Away, Arista, 1987.
The Great Aretha Franklin: The First 12 Sides, Columbia, 1988.
One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, Arista, 1988.
Through the Storm, Arista, 1989.
In a career spanning nearly 50 years, Aretha Franklin has truly earned her place as the Queen of Soul. She has performed songs in different genres as well, such as blues, R&B, jazz and rock.
Aretha Franklin was born in March 1942. Her father was a preacher and her mother was a pianist. Franklin developed an exceptional talent for singing and playing piano. Through recordings made during her father’s sermons, she appeared on a gospel album at the age of 14.
It wasn’t until 1960 that Franklin signed a contract with Columbia Records. Her early releases reflected her jazz influence, most notably "Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody". Seven years later, she moved from Columbia to Atlantic Records and began to craft her own distinctive sound. Her second single for the new label was "Respect" which was originally recorded and written by Otis Redding. Not only was "Respect" a worldwide chart-topper, she won two Grammies for it.
Franklin had huge hits in the late 60s and early 70s with memorable songs like "Chain of Fools", "I Say A Little Prayer" and "Think". She rose to prominence again in the 1980 film ‘The Blues Brothers’ where she made a cameo as Mrs Matt Murphy. She signed to Arista Records and began recording material with Luther Vandross, who was a huge fan.
Her biggest hits in the 80s came from collaborations with not only Vandross but the Eurythmics and George Michael. "Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves" became a rallying cry for women campaigning for equality, while "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" introduced her to fans from the Wham! generation.
After a brief period of returning to her gospel roots, Franklin’s next big commercial success came in 1993, lending her vocals to the soundtrack of Sister Act II: Back In The Habit.
1998 was a landmark year for the Queen of Soul. She released the album "A Rose Is Still A Rose" - a departure in style from her previous material - with contributions from the The Fugees’ Lauryn Hill. Later that year, she gave a memorable rendition of Puccini’s "Nessun Dorma" at the Grammys when Luciano Pavarotti was too ill to attend.
An album of duets was released in 2007, featuring Franklin sharing vocals with the likes of Gloria Estefan, Frank Sinatra, John Legend and Mary J Blige. She was also given the honour of singing at the inauguration of President Obama in 2009. She has won 18 Grammys in total, she is the second woman to be inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame and the first black woman to appear on the cover of Time Magazine. An incredible feat for an astonishing talent.
For The Record:
Born March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tenn.; daughter of Clarence L. (a minister and gospel singer) and Barbara (Siggers) Franklin; married Ted White (a businessman), 1961 (divorced); married Glynn Turman, April 11,1978 (divorced, 1984); children: (first marriage) Clarence, Edward, Teddy. Education: Attended schools in Detroit, Michigan. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Baptist.
Gospel singer, 1952-61, performing as member of her father's traveling Baptist ministry; recorded first album of gospel music in 1956. Rhythm and blues/soul vocalist, 1960—; signed first with Columbia Records, 1961, transferred to Atlantic Records, 1967, transferred to Arista Records, 1980. Has given numerous live performances in America and Europe, including a special command performance for the birthday of England's Queen Mother. Appeared in film "The Blues Brothers," 1980, and in Showtime television special, "Aretha," 1986.
Awards: Grammy awards for best female rhythm and blues vocal performance, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1981, 1985, 1987, Grammy awards for best rhythm and blues recording, 1967, for best soul gospel performance, 1972, and for best rhythm and blues duo vocal (with George Michael), 1987, for "I Knew You Were Waiting"; American Music Award, 1984.
Addresses: Home—8450 Linwood St, Detroit, Mich. 48206.
The mid- to late-1970s were a difficult time for soul music in general, as the rigid beat of disco held sway. Franklin was one of many singers who suffered a declining audience during the period. Her professional woes were compounded by a series of personal problems—her father was rendered comatose by a shooting during a burglary in his home, and her first marriage failed. Then, just as her career was beginning to rebound under the Arista label, Franklin was involved in an incident aboard a small airplane that caused her to fear flying. Some observers feel that only the need to pay her father's expensive hospital bills kept Franklin recording during the early 1980s. The Reverend Franklin died in 1984, never having recovered consciousness after the shooting. The following year Aretha recorded the album that can legitimately be called her "comeback" project—Who's Zoomin' Who, a snappy work reminiscent of her early material. Though well into her forties, Franklin cavorted elegantly through several "Who's Zoomin' Who" videos that became immensely popular on MTV and helped two singles, "Freeway of Love" and the title tune, top the pop charts. "I wanted something that kids would enjoy," Franklin told Newsweek, "something that would span the age gap, but not leave older fans behind. The soul is still there."
Franklin is still bothered by her fear of flying, so much of her work is accomplished in or near Detroit, her home base since 1982. Her recent hit single, "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)," paired her with George Michael, a pop singer seemingly from another generation altogether. In the wake of that success, Franklin has returned to her first and lasting love—gospel, with the release of a dramatic double album, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism. As Franklin once remarked in Time, "My heart is still there in gospel music. It never left." Franklin does not intend to leave pop music's ranks permanently, however. She told Newsweek that she sees singing—any kind of singing—as a means of escape. "It does get me out of myself," she said. "I guess you could say I do a lot of traveling with my voice." Mark Moses pays homage to the Queen of Soul in his New Yorker essay, calling Aretha Franklin "both the statesman shouldering history and the woman wishing herself back to childhood .. . as if there were no extremes that her wide, rippling voice could not reconcile."
Source: Anne Janette Johnson
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