Aretha Franklin

Born 25 March 1942.
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Aretha Franklin is inducted into Michael Ball's Singers Hall of Fame

Yvonne Graham nominates Aretha Franklin for Michael Ball's Singers Hall of Fame

Featured in BBC Music Clips


Aretha Louise Franklin (born March 25, 1942) is an American singer and musician. Franklin began her career singing gospel at her father, minister C. L. Franklin's church as a child. In 1960, at age 18, Franklin embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records only achieving modest success. Following her signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as "Respect", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and "Think". These hits and more helped her to gain the title The Queen of Soul by the end of the 1960s decade.

Franklin eventually recorded a total of 88 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries and twenty number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in the chart's history. Franklin also recorded acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, Lady Soul, Young, Gifted & Black and Amazing Grace before experiencing problems with her record company by the mid-1970s. After her father was shot in 1979, Franklin left Atlantic and signed with Arista Records, finding success with a cameo appearance in the film, The Blues Brothers and with the albums, Jump to It and Who's Zoomin' Who?. In 1998, Franklin won international acclaim for singing the opera aria, "Nessun Dorma", at the Grammys of that year replacing Luciano Pavarotti. Later that same year, she scored her final Top 40 recording with "A Rose Is Still a Rose".

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BBC Reviews

  1. Review of So Damn Happy

    So Damn Happy 2003

    Reviewed by Jack Smith
    In a career spanning four decades and some fifty plus albums, Aretha is the epitome of...
  2. Review of Young, Gifted and Black

    Young, Gifted and Black 1972

    Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
    One of the Queen of Soul’s very best.
  3. Review of Lady Soul

    Lady Soul 1968

    Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
    There’s soul. And then there’s Aretha Franklin.
  4. Review of I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You

    I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You 1967

    Reviewed by David O'Donnell
    Showcases her voice at its youthful best.
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