Aretha Franklin has passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. AP reported that the singer died on Thursday, August 16th at her home in Detroit, Michigan, surrounded by family and friends.
Her legendary career is most noted for her gospel-rooted singing and bluesy delivery that earned her the title “The Queen of Soul.”
Aretha began her career as a child, singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church, where her father was the minister. She became known for her breakout hits such as “Think,” “I Say a Little Prayer” and her signature song, “Respect.”
Aretha Franklin touched people everywhere and of every age with her widely celebrated singing and acting career. She had more than 100 singles placed in the Billboard charts, including 17 top-ten pop singles and 20 No.1 R&B hits. She received 18 Grammy Awards, along with a lifetime achievement award in 1994. Franklin was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1987.
Succeeding generations of R&B singers, from Natalie Cole, Whitney Houston, through to Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys openly emulated her. She also left her mark on the civil rights and women’s rights movements. For people of every age, Aretha Franklin has left a remarkable impression through the depth of her music.
Recalling Aretha Franklin, Emily (24) said, “I remember seeing her on a movie and singing “Think” and just thinking that this lady was a “Boss”. Here she was standing in a diner telling her husband to think about his actions and how he needed her more than she needed him. I remember thinking how strong she was and how I wanted to be just like her.”
Ann (46) shared, “When listening to Aretha Franklin on the radio, I remember thinking she was so liberating, her music liberated people. She was called the “Queen of Soul” for a reason, because she put her soul in her music. Her songs were about soul and love.”
People all over the world today are remembering the Queen of Soul and the huge influence she had.