Entertainment & Arts

Aretha Franklin: A life in pictures

Aretha Franklin in 2015 Image copyright AFP

Aretha Franklin, the "queen of soul" whose career spanned seven decades, has died in Detroit at the age of 76.

Here is a look back at her life and times in pictures.

Image copyright Getty Images

Born in Memphis in 1942, Aretha Louise Franklin made her first recording when she was just 14. But her career did not truly take off until she signed for Atlantic Records in 1966.

She went on to have a string of hits, among them I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You), Respect and (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman. Here she is performing on Top of the Pops in 1968.

Personal problems and an ill-advised foray into disco made for a less successful 1970s, though she continued to perform extensively. Here she is taking part in a 'Hollywood Salute' at the 1980 Royal Variety Performance.

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The same year saw her appear alongside John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd in cult comedy The Blues Brothers. As volatile waitress Mrs Murphy, she got to sing her classic anthem Think, as well as a few lines from Jailhouse Rock.

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Franklin's career experienced an upturn in the 1980s, thanks in part to high-profile duets with, among others, the Eurythmics. Here she is in the studio with Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox recording Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves in 1985.

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This shot from January 1993 sees her joined by Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Diana Ross as they celebrate the inauguration of President Bill Clinton in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

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This shot from 1997, meanwhile, shows her posing in New York with businessman Donald Trump, two decades before he himself was elected President of the United States.

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A new generation of singers came to see Franklin as an elder stateswoman of music. Here she is in 1998 with Mariah Carey at a "Divas Live" concert at New York's Beacon Theatre.

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Aretha's contribution to music was set in stone in 1987 when she became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Two decades years later she was back to pay tribute to Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records.

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Last November, at the age of 75, she gave her final performance at a gala in New York in aid of the Elton John Aids Foundation. Her nine-song set included a rendition of Say A Little Prayer.

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