It’s a sad day in music as fans worldwide mourn…
The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin has passed away at the age of 76 leaving behind four sons. Sources from The Associated Press spoke with Aretha’s publicist and reports say, the soulful legend passed in her Detroit home surrounded by family early Thursday morning.
The Memphis, Tennessee born songstress was born in March of 1942, stemming from musical roots as her mother, Barbara Siggers Franklin, was a pianist and vocalist, and her father, Clarence LaVaughn Franklin, was a pastor. Her joyful musical career began when she was a little girl singing gospel in Detroit after her family relocated from Memphis to Buffalo and then to the Motor City.
At the young age of 18, Franklin began touring with singer Sam Cooke and recording demos which presented her the opportunity to have a meeting with Columbia Records, who quickly signed her in 1960. A year into the record deal with Columbia, Aretha’s hit single “”Won’t Be Long” entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart which later peaked at No. 7. With her continuous release of hits Aretha Franklin became a huge superstar who was worth $100,000 for performances. In 1966, she left Columbia and signed with Atlantic Records, with whom she eventually recorded one of her biggest hits to date – her cover of Otis Redding’s “Respect.” The Detroit legend went on to sell over 75 million records in her career, making her one of the best-selling artists of all time. Also winning a total of 18 Grammys, and in 1987, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The greatness doesn’t stop there, she has been named by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Aretha, also known as Lady Soul is the ultimate singer’s singer. An icon.
In recent years, the singer had battled health problems which had forced her to cancel a number of concerts and performances. Her last performance was in November of 2017 in New York City at an Elton John AIDS Foundation benefit. Outside of music, Aretha also was a civil rights advocate who would later be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House by Former President George W. Bush in 2005.
From everyone at Rap HQ, our thoughts, prayers, love and condolences go out to her family and friends. May her beautiful soul rest in peace.