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Profile of the Day: Aretha Franklin

Profile of the Day: Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin

Today we remember legendary singer Aretha Franklin, who has passed away at the age of 76. Dubbed the “Queen of Soul,” Franklin is regarded as one of the greatest singers of all time.

Aretha Louise Franklin was born on March 25, 1942 in Memphis Tennessee. Her father, C.L. Franklin, was a Baptist minister, and her mother, Barbara Siggers, was an accomplished piano player and vocalist. Her parents had a troubled marriage and they separated in 1948. Her mother died in 1952, shortly before Franklin’s 10th birthday.

She was encouraged to sing by her father and began singing solos at New Bethel church where her father was a preacher. By the age of 14, she was traveling with her father during his “gospel caravan” tours and began recording gospel music.

After her initial success in gospel music, Franklin signed on to a major record label, which catapulted her career and earned her worldwide acclaim. Some of the biggest hits of her career include “Respect,” “Chain of Fools,”  and “I Say Little Prayer.” Considered one of the most successful artists of all time, Franklin sold over 75 million records worldwide and won 18 Grammy Awards. In 1987, she became the first female performer to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2005, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush.

In the days leading up to her death, news broke that Franklin was gravely ill and in hospice care at her home surrounded by friends and family. She died on August 16 after battling advanced pancreatic cancer.

RIP Aretha Franklin.

View Aretha Franklin’s Geni Profile


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Image: Cecilio Ricardo, U.S. Air Force / Wikimedia Commons


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