In a 1970 interview Aretha Franklin, the "Queen of Soul" who died this morning at the age of 76, told Jet Magazine "You don't have to be Black to have soul". Her publicist told The Associated Press that she died surrounded by her family and friends. While health (and Franklin's life-long fear of flying) cut down on her touring and recording in her later years. She was later discharged and reported to be responding positively to treatment at home.
"She performed for 60 years". Her last live performance took place at Elton John's 25th anniversary gala for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in November 2017.
Despite the fact that "Nessun dorma" is written for an operatic tenor and not a soulful mezzo-soprano, as Franklin was, she nailed the performance, hitting the high B at the climax and bringing the audience - including an awestruck Celine Dion - to its feet.
Singers Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder perform onstage at the 10th Annual Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on September 7, 2005 in Pasadena, California.
Often simply called "Aretha", Franklin got her start in the Detroit church of her pastor father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin.
'She sang and played magnificently, and we all wept, ' Elton wrote.
"It's the sheer power of her voice and the unique phrasing that distinguish her from her peers".
In 1964, she had a child with her first husband and named the boy after him.
Noticing his daughter's talent, her father began to manage her. It was her eleventh studio album, and nearly didn't happen. She was later engaged to Willie Wilkerson, but they never Wednesday. Neither, for the record, implied that she was ever an employee.
Personally, the star struggled with her weight throughout most of her life and had been a longtime smoker. In 1960, she signed with her first major record label.
"She would file their contracts and she would pay over scale to performers and she was very generous and she cared about people".
Still, even as both songstresses publicly stressed that they did not have a feud, some pointed to evidence of a rivalry extending beyond the music industry. Throughout her career, Franklin won 18 Grammy Awards. "So this is an opportunity for her at the height of her fame to acknowledge the roots that her career was grounded in". First married to Ted White, who became her manager and publicly abused her, Franklin later married actor Glynn Turman in 1978, but they divorced in 1984. The 1998 Grammys gave her a chance to demonstrate her range. Her two marriages ended in divorce. The mother of four boys has also had severe weight issues and has struggled with alcoholism and smoking addictions. Clara Ward of The Ward Singers, she was Aretha's greatest influence.
Add Aretha Franklin as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Aretha Franklin news, video, and analysis from ABC News. She made worldwide headlines in 2008, when she sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee" during President Barack Obama's inauguration. Our beloved Aretha Franklin has gone. The legend will live on years after her lifetime.
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