Aretha Franklin

March 25, 1942 - August 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin Artistfacts

  • Known as the "Queen Of Soul," Franklin was known for her powerful voice. She was also known as a Diva - VH1 devoted a special in her honor with the 2001 show VH1 Divas Live: The One and Only Aretha Franklin.
  • In 1987, she became the first woman inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
  • She was married to her manager, Ted White, from 1962-1969. Like most of her personal life, Aretha refused to discuss it in the press.
  • She had 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.
  • Aretha was a talented piano player. She played on her 1967 hit "Respect."
  • She played a waitress in the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers. This was during a nadir in her career, between her astounding run of hits in the '60s and '70s and her resurgence in the mid-'80s.
  • In 2008, she was voted Greatest Singer Of All Time by the musicians and journalists selected by Rolling Stone magazine to name their favorite singers of the Rock era. Following Aretha were Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke and John Lennon. >>
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  • According to her concert contract, Aretha Franklin liked to receive $25,000 of her performance fee in cash on the night of a concert. The rider for her live shows also stated that the Queen of Soul and her security personnel must be accommodated in hotel rooms below the 5th floor.
  • Aretha Franklin held the mark for the most Hot 100 entries among women from 1977 until 2017, when Nicki Minaj overtook her total of 73 visits to the chart.
  • Aretha Franklin's voice was legally declared one of Michigan's natural resources in 1985.
  • Starting in 1988, she sang the theme song to the popular Cosby Show spinoff A Different World for most of its six-season run (it was originally performed by Phoebe Snow and later Boyz II Men). Aretha's ex-husband Glynn Turman, whom she married in 1978 and divorced in 1984, played math professor Colonel Taylor on the show.
  • Aretha Franklin went to the same school, Hutchins Junior High, as Lamont Dozier. She was a year younger than the future Motown songwriter; he used to go every Sunday to her father's church just to watch her perform.
  • She had four children, all boys. The first came when she was 12 years old; the second when she was 14.
  • In 1968, a faux Franklin named Vickie Jones started playing shows in Florida as Aretha, keeping up the ruse until Franklin's people found out and had her arrested. Jones thought she was booked as the opening act for Franklin when she traveled to Florida at the behest of her promoter, who told her she would instead be performing as Franklin. Jones could sing so convincingly that audiences thought she was the real deal. She was found innocent, and her arrest brought her enough notoriety to draw respectable crowds touring under her own name.

Comments: 6

  • Deethewriter from Saint Petersburg, Russia FederationJanuary 2009 - Aretha Franklin's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame has been defaced-- apparently by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The words "Fur Hag" were painted on the star as a protest to the Queen of Soul's wardrobe. In recent weeks, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and Sharon Stone have had their stars vandalized, as well.
  • Deethewriter from Saint Petersburg, Russia FederationAretha Franklin was honored with the Torch of Freedom award by the Soldiers', Sailors', Marines', Coast Guard and Airmen's Club of New York Sunday (December 14, 2008). "No-show Aretha" did miss the award presentation in Times Square that afternoon but performed at a concert that evening.
  • Deethewriter from Saint Petersburg, Russia FederationAretha Franklin was ticked at Beyoncé Knowles, who dueted at the ceremony with Tina Turner and dared to call Tina "the queen". "I dismissed it as a cheap shot for controversy," Aretha snuffed on Tuesday (February 12, 2008).
  • Deethewriter from Saint Petersburg, Russia FederationFire destroyed a mansion in Michigan owned by legendary singer Aretha Franklin Friday (October 25, 2002), making it difficult for investigators to determine the cause of blaze. Nobody was at the Oakland County home at the time, officials said. According to one of Franklin's building contractors, the singer hasn't lived in the house for two years and used it to store boxes and furniture.
  • Deethewriter from Saint Petersburg, Russia FederationAretha Franklin filed suit in Detroit Wednesday (November 28, 2002) against the Star tabloid over a story they ran last year alleging she had a drinking problem. The Queen of Soul is asking for $50 million.
  • John from Nashville, TnAretha Franklin played piano on Sam Moore's (of Sam and Dave fame) unreleased 1971 solo album PLENTY GOOD LOVIN. Produced by Memphis soul legend King Curtis, the album was finally released on cd in 2002.
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