When I was growing up, Aretha Franklin was more than just a singer, but an icon and a powerhouse we all were meant to try to live up to. She was beautiful, talented, strong Black woman whom we all loved. Let’s dig into the life of Aretha and respect her legacy.
Like many Black artists, she began her singing career in the church. She was considered a child prodigy and taught herself how to play many of the instruments and how to sing. As a 14 year old, she created her first record as a gospel artist and, in time, was recording for Columbia in the early 1960s. So many artist’s visions were stifled at the beginning of their careers, and Aretha’s were no different.
With the direction of her recording company, the Queen of soul had a totally different sound. It was also by the age of 14 that she became a mother with her first son. At 16 she had her second child. Yet that did not not stop her from becoming the idol she is known as today.
In 1966 she switched to a different label and then was much more successful. That label was Atlantic Records. By the time that 1967 rolled around, she begin to turn out charts that would become classics today. Songs like I Never Loved a Man, Sink, Chain of Fools, and You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman all came out around this time.
With that she became the Queen of Soul and became the figure we know today. She sang at Martin Luther King‘s funeral and did so much more in her life. During the 1970s he became even more prolific and took him eight consecutive Grammy awards for best R&B female vocal performance.
In 1987 Franklin became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock‘n’roll Hall of Fame. Later, in 1993 she sang at the inauguration of Bill Clinton and later Barack Obama also. As of right now, with 18 Grammys, Aretha Franklin is one of the most honored artist in Grammys history. She is beloved and talented, and any song she is featured on in the last 10 years has done incredibly well.
Aretha Franklin died on August 16, 2018. A woman whose legacy will continue on forever. Her impact on Black culture, music, and in general the United States is amazing and astounding. As drama unfolds around her funeral I urge us to remember the woman who we were all there to celebrate. Just touch so many of us in various ways through her music. Aretha Franklin is an icon that will always be remembered