Remembering Aretha Franklin: a look back at her legacy

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2nd September 2019
Aretha Franklin

If there’s one musical icon who deserves everyone’s R.E.S.P.E.C.T, it’s Aretha Franklin, aka The Queen of Soul.

Singer, songwriter, pianist and civil rights activist, Aretha addressed the world through her music. Her soul-stirring vocals were a tool for power, truth, justice and empowerment for women around the world.

Aretha’s work has inspired many singers, from Dolly Parton and Kelly Clarkson, to Mariah Carey and Luther Vandross.

Another star who has spoken of Aretha’s influence is singer and actress Jennifer Hudson, who will play Aretha in the upcoming film about her life and career. The biopic, Respect, is set for release in August 2020.

The life of a star

Aretha was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1942. As a child she sang gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit where her father, C.L Franklin, was minister.

She embarked on her solo singing career at the ripe age of 18, working as a recording artist for Columbia Records. But it was only when she signed to Atlantic Records in 1966 that her career started to take off, with the releases of chart-topping classics like Respect, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and I Say A Little Prayer.

By the end of the decade, Aretha Franklin had earned herself the title ‘The Queen of Soul’.

Aretha would go on to become the most charted female in history, recording 112 singles in the US. She remains one of the best-selling artists of all time, with more than 75 million records sold worldwide.

Aretha has many accolades to her name. She’s the most charted female artist in history, the first female performer to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and first individual woman to receive a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation.

…And they don’t stop there: Aretha received 18 Grammy Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, has a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, and in 2010, came top in Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest singers of all time list.

Part of the allure of Aretha Franklin was that you didn’t just hear her music – you felt it, too.

Shortly after Aretha’s death in August 2018, Barack and Michelle Obama said in a statement: “Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade – our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and out hard-won respect.”

Celebrate the Queen of Soul on our Soul and Motown nights at Jubliee Lodge and Sandpipers! To book or more information, contact the team on 0303 303 0145 or email 



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