She was one of the greatest singers of all time
American singer, songwriter, actress, and pianist, Aretha Louise Franklin passed away on August 16, 2018. Though her career began at a very early stage as a child singing gospel, she rose to fame post 1960s with hits like Respect, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You), and I Say a Little Prayer, one after the other.
- Both a 20th and 21st century musical and cultural icon was known throughout the world simply by her first name Aretha.
- Aretha Franklin battled against prolonged periods of ill-health, prompting her to announce a plan for retirement in early 2017.
- Her final appearance came in November at a charity gala in New York City, organised by fellow singer Elton John.
- She had closed the event with a rendition of classics including “I Say a Little Prayer” and “Freeway”.
Her songs were simple, yet powerful symbol of strong, independent women and black empowerment. As American president Barack Obama once remarked, “American history wells up when Aretha sings”.
Born to the man with the ‘Million-Dollar Voice’, Clarence LaVaughn Franklin, Aretha had the privilege of meeting and mingling up with a lot of celebrities, including gospel musicians, since a very early age.
At the age of 19, Aretha had married Theodore Ted White, whom she had met at a party, but after a contentious marriage involving domestic violence, the two separated within first few years of marriage.
Years later, Aretha married her second husband, actor Glynn Turman, in 1978, and became stepmother of Turman’s three children from a previous marriage. The couple, too, eventually separated in 1982.
Aretha Franklin was the mother of four sons. At the age of 12, she gave birth to her first child (assumingly with a schoolmate, Donald Burk), named Clarence. Her second child (with Edward Jordan), Edward, was born two years later. Her third child (with Ted White), is Teddy Richards and the youngest son, Kecalf Cunningham, was born in 1970 and is the child of her road manager Ken Cunningham.
During her six decades as a recording artist, she won 18 Grammys and was also the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The singer also bagged a number of other prestigious awards and honours, including the National Medal of Arts in 1999, and was bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.
She was the 2008 MusiCares Person of the Year. In 2013, she was ranked first in Rolling Stone magazine’s ‘100 Greatest Singers’ list.
Every moment, since her demise (we) say a Little Prayer for (her)- May the Queen of Soul’s soul rest in peace!
(Forever) Forever (and ever) yeah
(You’ll stay in my heart and I will love you)
(Forever) Forever (and ever) ever
(We never will part, oh, how I love you)
(Together) Together (together) together
(That’s how it must be to live without you)
(Would only mean heartbreak for me)