Lindsay Allen

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Aretha Franklin’s First Live Album Turns 50: How ‘Aretha in Paris’ Heralded a Queen

In 1968, history’s most important female singer recorded her first live album, a collection of earth-shattering covers that tilted a musical …

Music

Singing the praises of Aretha Franklin, the first among divas

Aretha Franklin epitomised the prodigious talent who refuses to play nice, writes Julie Burchill<p>On the announcement of Aretha Franklin’s passing on Thursday, the mourning was unanimously reverent to a degree I’ve rarely experienced for any public person. Aretha sang about respect, and she certainly …

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin: a life of heartbreak, heroism and hope

She went on to sing for presidents, her voice distilling the aspirations of the Obama era in particular<p>In January 1967, Aretha Franklin, 24 years old and newly signed to Atlantic Records, left Detroit, her home city, for the small town of Muscle Shoals in Alabama. She had gone there to record at …

Aretha Franklin

The day Aretha Franklin found her sound – and a bunch of men nearly killed it

She came in here and she sat at the piano here and played Never Loved a Man the Way I Loved You. We were immune to that Rick Hall<p>The rest of the guys didn’t really know what was going on. I wasn’t drinking. You don’t go to work and drink David Hood<p>It was the tumultuous recording session in which …

Music

John Landis, Who Directed Aretha Franklin’s Only Two Movies, Remembers Her ‘Blues Brothers’ Turns

<b>EXCLUSIVE</b>: Her signature songs have been part of dozens of movies going back to <i>Coming Home</i> and <i>More American Graffiti</i>, and she hand-picked Jennifer …

Aretha Franklin

David Bowie fondly misremembered the time Aretha Franklin snubbed him

Aretha Franklin was revered on all the stages that stretched across her many realms, from awards shows to academia. One story linking those two worlds stars David Bowie alongside the Queen of Soul—though it didn’t happen quite as he later recounted it.<p>In a 1999 commencement speech, Bowie told the …

Aretha Franklin

When Aretha Franklin Sang ‘Nessun Dorma’ at the Grammys: The Story Behind the Greatest Award Show Performance Ever

With only 20 minutes notice, Franklin replaced an ailing Luciano Pavarotti and, unrehearsed, stopped the show singing opera. The story behind the …

Music

A voice that gave America its heart and soul: Aretha Franklin

‘The Queen of Soul” was an honorific thrust upon Aretha Franklin by the Chicago radio DJ Pervis Spann during her first flush of fame, but it ended up being a job for life. When, decades later, Mojo and Rolling Stone ran polls to find the greatest singer of all time, she topped both and nobody was …

Civil Rights

The 50 Greatest Aretha Franklin Songs

50<p>“Jump to It” (1982)<p>The title track of Franklin’s 1982 LP paired her with Luther Vandross just as he was rocketing into position as one of the …

Music

Aretha Franklin, a Pop Star Who Could Make You See God

“This is a song that a girl took away from me.” That’s Otis Redding onstage at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival introducing “Respect,” which he’d …

Aretha Franklin

Aretha and Black America’s Two Biggest Moments

On a cold day in February, Martin Luther King Jr. surprised Aretha in Detroit to present her with a special award on behalf of the Southern Christian …

Black History

Aretha’s Greatest Albums: ‘I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You’ (1967)

<i>Aretha Franklin, who died on August 16th at age 76, recorded more than 40 full-length albums in her six-decade career. It’s a deep catalog, crowded</i> …

Music

Why Aretha Franklin Was America’s Greatest Voice

The most beautiful words ever spoken about Aretha Franklin came from her friend and producer Luther Vandross, back in 1982: “This woman ain’t …

Music

'She doesn't just move you, she shakes you': all-star tributes to Aretha Franklin

Candi Staton<p>Gospel promoters would put on these “caravan” tours – like a festival today. They would have us on the same programme. And that’s how I met Aretha, she was about 16. At that time, CL Franklin – Aretha’s father – was the first pastor that had a sermon on a vinyl record. It was called The …

Aretha Franklin

Aretha’s Greatest Albums: ‘Hey Now Hey’ (1973)

<i>Aretha Franklin, who died on August 16th at age 76, recorded more than 40 full-length albums in her six-decade career. It’s a deep catalog, crowded</i> …

Music

See Smokey Robinson Reminisce About Aretha Franklin After Queen of Soul’s Death

Smokey Robinson remembered his childhood friend and frequent duet partner Aretha Franklin Friday in an interview with <i>CBS This Morning</i>.<p>“She has left …

Music

'She sat at the piano and let it stream out like gold': readers remember Aretha

‘As a young gay guy in rural Scotland I couldn't have gotten through the hurt and humiliation without her’: Robin Martin, 48, writer, San Francisco<p>Aretha could sing anything and find meaning in it when she wanted to. Her 1974 song, Without Love, is a testament to getting through, keeping going, …

Aretha Franklin

Take A Glimpse Into The Soulful Career Of Aretha Franklin

Whatever you need, baby she’s got it. Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, has been singing her way into our hearts for over 60 years. Let’s take a …

Aretha Franklin

All The Things You Are: Aretha's Life In Jazz

Aretha Franklin was about a month shy of her 20th birthday when she appeared for a week at The Village Gate in late February of 1962. She shared a bill there with pianist and composer Thelonious Monk, who like her was an indescribable talent — a genius, in the fullest sense of the word — recently …

Soul Music

Essential Aretha: 10 Classic Songs From the Queen of Soul’s 60-Year Career

<i>With 40-odd studio albums over a 60-plus-year recording career, it would take many days just to listen to Aretha Franklin’s peerless archive of</i> …

Aretha Franklin

'She knew she was blessed': Smokey Robinson remembers Aretha

(Reuters) - When Motown great Smokey Robinson saw his lifelong friend Aretha Franklin play music for the first time, he said he was struck by the talent of the young girl who would become the "Queen of Soul."<p>In an interview with Reuters TV, the former lead singer of hit group The Miracles recalled …

Music

The Guide to Getting into Aretha Franklin

The iconic singer's catalog spans more than half a century. Here's where to start.<p>There's one tiny thing about calling Aretha Franklin the "Queen of Soul" that feels a little misleading, and that's the fact that most queens are born into royalty; their title is their birthright. That's true for …

Aretha Franklin

We Still Can't Comprehend The Power Of Aretha Franklin's Voice

Aretha Franklin is dead and we still, 50 years after she made her artistic and commercial breakthrough, can scarcely comprehend the still-shocking power of her singing.<p>Aretha Franklin must have understood early on what fame was like, as the daughter of the immensely popular Detroit preacher C.L. …

Aretha Franklin

How Aretha Franklin Earned Her Crown As the Queen of Soul

Aretha Franklin was the best of us. More than just a national treasure, she seemed like an elemental gift sprung from the building blocks of the universe itself. Though she left us today after years of struggle with illness, Aretha was arguably the most accomplished and sublime vocalist in the …

Music

Paying R-E-S-P-E-C-T to Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin, over nearly 60 years, delivered countless indelible moments on the wings of the voice that lifted her to become the undisputed Queen …

Music

‘Respect’ Was Originally Written by a Man—But Aretha Franklin Made It Legendary

Her most famous song has a surprising history.<p>Legendary artist Aretha Franklin passed away Thursday morning after several days in hospice care, a representative confirmed to the AP. Though the 76-year-old is gone, she will continue to live on through her music, which included hits like “Natural …

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin Wasn't Just a Music Legend. She Also Raised Her Voice for Civil Rights

Aretha Franklin will forever be remembered as the legendary Queen of Soul, but her six decade career (during which she won 18 Grammy awards and was …

How Early Motherhood Led Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin to a 'Life of Silent Suffering'

Among the mysteries of Aretha Franklin’s life and her preference for “extreme privacy,” her role as a mother was one the superstar typically kept …

Aretha Franklin

How Aretha Franklin Created “Respect”

“It’s still shocking to recall that her most distinctive rewrite, the addition of the ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T/ Find out what it means to me’ bridge was …

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin: A Legacy in Music

Aretha Franklin’s voice was a pure, painful, and unforgettable expression of American history and American feeling, the collective experience of black Americans and her own life. The Queen of Soul, who died Thursday morning, was the daughter of the most influential black pastor in Detroit, a …

Aretha Franklin