12 things that you may not known about Aretha Franklin
1- Franklin was born March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee. Her father, the Reverend C.L. Franklin, became the pastor of the 4,500-member New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit in 1946 and was a nationally known gospel singer (« the Man with the Million-Dollar Voice »)
2- Her mother, Barbara, also a gospel singer, deserted the family when Aretha was six and died four years later.
3- Aretha became a mother at the age of 13 and she has a second child at the age of 15.
4- Her first record deal was with Checker Records and she released the album, « Songs of Faith » in 1956 at age fourteen
5- She was presented an award by Martin Luther King Jr. (to whose cause her father had been a major financial supporter)
6- In the Fifties Berry Gordy Jr. tried to sign Aretha to his fledgling Motown label. Reverend Franklin refused.
7-Aretha recorded “Respect” in 1967, the song was originally performed by Otis Redding. It became her signature song and was later named the anthem of the civil rights and the feminist movement.
8- She has a lifelong fear of flying, and after a shaky flight aboard a twin-engine plane in 1984, she has refused to fly. This has limited her touring considerably, and cost her the lead role in a musical biography of Mahalia Jackson.
9- Her father was shot during a burglary at his home in Detroit. CL Franklin went into a coma from which he never emerged, dying in 1984.
10-Aretha Franklin was the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
11- Franklin has been romantically linked to many musicians such as Sam Cooke and Dennis Edwards, formerly of The Temptations. Some of her music business friends have included Dionne Warwick, Mavis Staples, and Cissy Houston, who began singing with Aretha as member of the Sweet Inspirations. Cissy sang background on Franklin’s classic hit, « Ain’t No Way ». Aretha first met her daughter, Whitney, in the early 1970s. She was made an honorary aunt and Whitney often referred to her as « Auntie Ree.
12- Aretha is the winner of 18 Grammy Awards and one of her most notable songs was ‘Respect’ which was released in 1967