Zion-Benton Times - Community News - Your Life

Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, Dies


August 24, 2018

Aretha Franklin

by Arthur Bass

Legendary singer and songwriter Aretha Franklin, long known as the 'Queen of Soul', died Thursday, August 16th, in Detroit. She was 76 years old.

Franklin suffered from pancreatic cancer.

In a statement, Franklin's publicist Gwendolyn Quinn said, "In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart... We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds."

Franklin started singing in the church where her father was a minister when she was young. Even though she began singing professionally in the early 1960s, it was in 1967 that her musical career expanded, when she signed with Atlantic Records. In a short time span, she had released such songs as "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman," "Think", and "Respect," which went on to become classics. She was eventually dubbed as the "Queen of Soul".

Franklin ultimately sold more than 75 million records worldwide, while becoming the most-charted female artist in Billboard's history, with a total of 112 charted singles. Her accomplishments included 18 Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe win and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as she was the first female performer to receive such an honor.

Franklin battled numerous health issues throughout her career. However, she continued to record songs and perform live until late 2017, where she was featured at an Elton John AIDS Foundation in November.

Franklin also had many TV appearances as well. She appeared on series' like Deal or No Deal and Dancing With the Stars, along with other late-night programs and award shows.

Aretha Franklin

Franklin's songs have been featured in many films and TV shows during her career. Most recently, she provided the soundtrack for episodes of GLOW and Scandal. Her discography has long been honored on reality singing competitions including American Idol and The Voice.

Aretha Franklin's funeral will be held Aug. 31 in her hometown of Detroit. Gwendolyn Quinn, Franklin's publicist said that the funeral will be held at Greater Grace Temple. The funeral service is limited to the 'Queen of Soul's' family and friends. Public viewings will take place August 28-29 at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. She will be entombed at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit, along with her father, the Reverend C.L. Franklin.


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