Aretha Louise Franklin, the daughter of minister was born in Memphis, Tennessee on March 25, 1942. At seven years of age the family moved to Detroit where Aretha sang at her father’s church.
As a teenager she was signed to a recording contract by Columbia Records, where nine releases in five years had limited success with the exception of “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody” in 1961.
Moving to Atlantic Records in 1967 and teaming with famed producers Jerry Wexler and Arif Mardin, the new “Queen of Soul” exploded with dozens of #1 hits on the R&B charts, none any bigger than her multi-million selling pop single “Respect” in her first year at Atlantic.
Among her chart toppers were, “I Never Loved A Man”, “Baby, I Love You”, “A Natural Woman”, “Chain of Fools”, “Since You’ve Been Gone”, “Think”, “I Say A Little Prayer”, “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, “Spanish Harlem”, “Day Dreaming”, “Until You Come Back to Me”, “Freeway of Love”, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who”, “I Know You Were Waiting For Me”, “Rock Steady” and “I’m In Love”.
No other female recording artist’s has landed on the top 100 singles chart more than Aretha Franklin. Starting in 1961 and ending in 1990, Aretha’s Columbia, Atlantic and Arista recordings charted 72 times.
Winning eighteen Grammy awards, Aretha Franklin in 1987 became the first female to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2007. She was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton, the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bush and was inducted into the United Kingdom Hall of Fame in 2005. A resident of her beloved Detroit, Aretha continues to perform at special occasions.
Visit her official website here.