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About Aretha Franklin


About Aretha Franklin

Born & Raised:

Full name: Aretha Louise Franklin.
Born: March 25, 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee.
Raised in Detroit, Michigan.

Early Life:

Aretha Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee and is the daughter of Barbara and CL Franklin. When she was 4, her parents moved her, her brother and their two sisters to Detroit, Michigan, which is where Aretha was raised. Her father was a Baptist minister and Aretha grew up in the church, which where she learned to sing and play the piano. By the time she was 12, she was already a church soloist, and when she was 14, her debut Gospel album, Songs of Faith, was recorded in her father's church and independently released in 1956. After she turned 18, Aretha signed with the Columbia Records label.

Early Career:

Between 1961 and 1967, Columbia Records released 11 Aretha albums, including two compilations. She had a number of minor pop and Gospel hits during this period, but it wasn't until she bolted Columbia for Atlantic Records that her career really took off. The 12 years she spent on Atlantic were the most successful ones of her career. From 1967 to 1979, Aretha generated a number of hit R&B and Soul songs, including "Respect" and "Chain of Fools" in 1967; "Think" (1968); "Rock Steady (1971); and "Something He Can Feel" in 1976. She also won 10 Grammys during this time span.

Later Career:

As success tapered off in the late 1970s, Aretha leaving Atlantic Records and signed with Arista Records. Her sound then began to evolve from '70s Soul to '80s synth, exemplified by glossy pop songs like 1982's "Jump to It" and 1985's "Freeway of Love" and "Sisters are Doin' It for Themselves," with singer Annie Lennox. She also had some minor hits in the 1990s, most notably 1998's "A Rose is Still a Rose," a hip-hop track written and produced by Lauryn Hill. After staying with Arista for 23 years, Aretha and the label parted ways in 2003. She is still active today, however, and released her 38th studio album in 2011.


Aretha has been married twice. The first marriage was to her personal manager, Ted White, from 1961 to 1969. She was then married to actor Glynn Turman from April 1978 to February 1984.
She also has four children: the first was Clarence Franklin, whom Aretha gave birth to when she was 14 and named after her father, the Rev. CL Franklin. Next came Edward Franklin, whom she also gave birth to while in her teens. In 1964, Ted White Jr., her son with her first husband, was born. Her youngest son, who was born in 1970, is Kecalf Cunningham. He is Aretha's son with her former road manager, Ken Cunningham.

Selected Discography:

2011: Aretha: A Woman Falling Out of Love
2008: This Christmas, Aretha
2003: So Damn Happy
1998: A Rose Is Still a Rose
1991: What You See Is What You Sweat
1989: Through the Storm
1986: Aretha
1985: Who's Zoomin' Who?
1982: Jump to It
1981: Love All the Hurt Away
1980: Aretha
1976: Sparkle
1974: Let Me in Your Life
1972: Amazing Grace
1972: Young, Gifted and Black
1971: Live at Fillmore West
1970: Spirit in the Dark
1970: This Girl's in Love with You
1969: Soul '69
1968: Aretha Now
1968: Lady Soul
1967: Aretha Arrives
1967: I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You
1964: Runnin' Out of Fools
1956: Songs of Faith

Grammys Received:

2008: Best Gospel-Soul Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group (with Mary J. Blige) for "Never Gonna Break My Faith."
2006: Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for "A House Is Not A Home."
2004: Best Traditional R&B Vocal for "Wonderful."
1994: Lifetime Achievement Award.
1991: Living Legend Award.
1989: Best Soul Gospel Performance – Female for One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.
1988: Best R&B Performance – Duo Or Group with Vocals (with George Michael) for "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)."
1988: Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for Aretha.
1986: Best Female R&B Vocal for "Freeway Of Love."

Grammys (Continued):

1982: Best Female R&B Vocal for "Hold On...I'm Comin'."
1975: Best Female R&B Vocal for "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing."
1974: Best Female R&B Vocal for "Master Of Eyes."
1973: Best Female R&B Vocal for Young, Gifted and Black.
1973: Best Soul Gospel Performance for Amazing Grace.
1972: Best Female R&B Vocal for "Bridge Over Troubled Water."
1971: Best Female R&B Vocal for "Don't Play That Song For Me."
1970: Best Female R&B Vocal for "Share Your Love With Me."
1969: Best Female R&B Vocal for "Chain Of Fools."
1968: Best Female R&B Vocal for "Respect."
1968: Best Rhythm & Blues Recording for "Respect."

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