Full Biography Of Aretha Franklin
Born Aretha Louise Franklin
March 25, 1942 (age 76)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Residence Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Years active 1956–present
Home town Detroit, Michigan
Spouse(s) Ted White
(m. 1961; div. 1969)
(m. 1978; div. 1984)
Parent(s) Clarence LaVaughn Franklin
Barbara Siggers Franklin
Relatives Erma Franklin (sister)
Carolyn Franklin (sister)
Awards Aretha Franklin awards
Soul R&B pop gospel jazz
Vocals piano keyboards
J.V.B Columbia Atlantic Arista RCA
Sweet Inspirations Erma Franklin Carolyn Franklin Cissy Houston Dionne Warwick Smokey Robinson King Curtis Patti LaBelle Eurythmics The Caravans James Brown George Benson The Soul Stirrers Luther Vandross Mahalia Jackson Whitney Houston George Michael Michael McDonald Lauryn Hill
Who Is Aretha Franklin?
Aretha Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1942. A gifted singer and pianist, Franklin toured with her father’s traveling revival show and later visited New York, where she signed with Columbia Records.
Franklin went on to release several popular singles, many of which are now considered classics. In 1987 she became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2008 she won her 18th Grammy Award, making her one of the most honored artists in Grammy history.
Early Life & Career
The fourth of five children, Aretha Louise Franklin was born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee, to Baptist preacher Reverend Clarence La Vaughan “C. L.” Franklin and Barbara Siggers Franklin, a gospel singer.
Franklin’s parents separated by the time she was six, and four years later her mother succumbed to a heart attack. Guided by C. L.’s preaching assignments, the family relocated to Detroit, Michigan. C. L. eventually landed at New Bethel Baptist Church, where he gained national renown as a preacher.
Aretha Franklin’s musical gifts became apparent at an early age. Largely self-taught, she was regarded as a child prodigy. A gifted pianist with a powerful voice, Franklin got her start singing in front of her father’s congregation.
By the age of 14, she had recorded some of her earliest tracks at his church, which were released by a small label as the album Songs of Faith in 1956. She also performed with C. L.’s traveling revival show and, while on tour, befriended gospel greats such as Mahalia Jackson, Sam Cooke and Clara Ward.
But life on the road also exposed Franklin to adult behaviors, and at the age of 14, she became a mother for the first time with a son, Clarence. A second child, Edward, followed two years later — with both sons taking her family’s name. Franklin would later have two more sons: Ted White, Jr. and Kecalf Cunningham.
With 18 Grammys under her belt, Franklin is one of the most honored artists in Grammy history, ranked among the likes of Alison Krauss, Adele and Beyoncé Knowles. In 2011 Franklin released her first album on her own label, A Woman Falling Out of Love.
To support the project, she performed several concerts, including a two-night stint at the famed Radio City Music Hall in New York. With fans and critics alike impressed with her performances, she successfully proved that the Queen of Soul still reigned supreme.
‘Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics’
In 2014 Franklin underscored that point with Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, which reached No. 13 on the pop charts and No. 3 R&B.
In February 2017, the 74-year-old Queen of Soul told Detroit radio station WDIV Local 4 that she was collaborating with Stevie Wonder to release a new album.
“I must tell you, I am retiring this year,” she said in the interview, adding: “I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now. I’ll be pretty much satisfied, but I’m not going to go anywhere and just sit down and do nothing. That wouldn’t be good either.”
In January 2018, it was announced that Franklin had hand-picked singer and actress Jennifer Hudson to play her in an upcoming biopic.
On August 12, 2018, it was reported that a “gravely ill” Franklin was in a Detroit hospital, surrounded by family and friends.
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