Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin Kicks the Bucket at 76

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The Grandmother of R&B Aretha Franklyn finally gave up the ghost at age 76 after a gruelling battle with cancer. Franklin had been “gravely ill” and passed away yesterday at 9:50am (11:50pm AEDT) surrounded by family and friends in Detroit, as tributes poured in for the legendary Queen of Soul.
Grammy-winner Franklin influenced generations of pop divas with hits such as Respect (1967), Natural Woman (1968) and I Say a Little Prayer (1968).
Franklin was one of the most respected artists of all-time. She cemented her place in music history with her powerful voice that stretched over four octaves, and her hits spanned from soul to R&B to gospel and pop.
She was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
She sang gospel songs in her father’s church and her career rose to regularly topping rhythm and blues and pop charts in the 1960s and 1970s.
Beyond Respect, her powerful cover of Otis Redding’s tune that became her calling card, Franklin had a string of Top 40 singles, according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
They included Day Dreaming (1972), Jump to It (1982), Freeway of Love (1985), and A Rose Is Still A Rose (1998), and 1987’s I Knew You Were Waiting For Me, a duet with the late George Michael.
Franklin was the most lauded female R&B vocalist of her era.
Her style influenced pop divas from Mariah Carey and the late Whitney Houston, whose mother was a backup singer for Franklin, to Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige and Amy Winehouse.
She won 18 Grammy Awards during her career, including one for Lifetime Achievement in 1994.
In 2005, Franklin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award for an American civilian, by then-president George W Bush.
She sang at the inaugurations of two presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
Last November, she sang at Elton John’s AIDS Foundation gala at Cathedral of St. John in New York. This is reported to have been her last performance.
Franklin underwent surgery for an unspecified illness, reported to be pancreatic cancer, in December 2010 and was frequently ill, while keeping a regular concert schedule, in the years since.
She performed in November at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Gala in New York to a private audience.
Her illness took its toll on the soul legend, seen here at the Elton John AIDS Foundation event last November. Picture: Theo Wargo/Getty Images
Her final public performance was in Philadelphia in August 2017.
“It was a miraculous show as Aretha was already then fighting exhaustion and dehydration,” Showbiz 411 reporter Roger Friedman wrote, describing the Philadelphia concert.
After news about Franklin’s worsening condition broke, stars including Mariah Carey – who was heavily influenced by Franklin – offered tributes and prayers for their idol.
“My prayers are with Aretha Franklin and her family during this difficult time,” tweeted rapper Missy Elliott.
“We MUST CELEBRATE the Living Legends while they are here to see it. So many have given us decades of Timeless music.”
Boy George said: “This is sad news. Aretha Franklin, what a voice.”
Pop diva Mariah Carey tweeted: “Praying for the Queen of Soul.”
Early Life
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Franklin was only 12 when she gave birth to her first child. She had another at 14 and suffered an abusive marriage at the age of 19.
She was married twice — her first was to former manager Ted White (1961-1969). She then married American actor Glynn Turman (1978-1984).
Franklin had four sons: Clarence Franklin (1955), Edward Franklin (1957), Ted White Jr (1964) and Kecalf Cunningham (1970).
Franklin had been “gravely ill” and passed away at 9:50am (11:50pm AEDT) surrounded by family and friends in Detroit, as tributes poured in for the legendary Queen of Soul.
Grammy-winner Franklin influenced generations of pop divas with hits such as Respect (1967), Natural Woman (1968) and I Say a Little Prayer (1968).
Franklin was one of the most respected artists of all-time. She cemented her place in music history with her powerful voice that stretched over four octaves, and her hits spanned from soul to R&B to gospel and pop.
She was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
She sang gospel songs in her father’s church and her career rose to regularly topping rhythm and blues and pop charts in the 1960s and 1970s.
Beyond Respect, her powerful cover of Otis Redding’s tune that became her calling card, Franklin had a string of Top 40 singles, according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
They included Day Dreaming (1972), Jump to It (1982), Freeway of Love (1985), and A Rose Is Still A Rose (1998), and 1987’s I Knew You Were Waiting For Me, a duet with the late George Michael.
Career
Franklin was the most lauded female R&B vocalist of her era.
Her style influenced pop divas from Mariah Carey and the late Whitney Houston, whose mother was a backup singer for Franklin, to Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige and Amy Winehouse.
She won 18 Grammy Awards during her career, including one for Lifetime Achievement in 1994.
In 2005, Franklin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award for an American civilian, by then-president George W Bush.
Last November, she sang at Elton John’s AIDS Foundation gala at Cathedral of St. John in New York. This is reported to have been her last performance.
Final Performances
Franklin underwent surgery for an unspecified illness, reported to be pancreatic cancer, in December 2010 and was frequently ill, while keeping a regular concert schedule, in the years since.
She performed in November at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Gala in New York to a private audience.
Her illness took its toll on the soul legend, seen here at the Elton John AIDS Foundation event last November. Picture: Theo Wargo/Getty Images
Her final public performance was in Philadelphia in August 2017.
“It was a miraculous show as Aretha was already then fighting exhaustion and dehydration,” Showbiz 411 reporter Roger Friedman wrote, describing the Philadelphia concert.
That same year, Detroit named a street after her.
Franklin previously struggled with alcoholism, obesity and a heavy smoking habit.
Tributes have flooded in for Franklin from both inside the entertainment industry and beyond.
After news about Franklin’s worsening condition broke, stars including Mariah Carey – who was heavily influenced by Franklin – offered tributes and prayers for their idol.
“My prayers are with Aretha Franklin and her family during this difficult time,” tweeted rapper Missy Elliott.
“We MUST CELEBRATE the Living Legends while they are here to see it. So many have given us decades of Timeless music.”
Boy George said: “This is sad news. Aretha Franklin, what a voice.”
Pop diva Mariah Carey tweeted: “Praying for the Queen of Soul.”

Africh Royale

Africh Royale

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