Franklin, Aretha (Louise)

Franklin, Aretha (Louise)

biographical name

(born March 25, 1942, Memphis, Tenn., U.S.) U.S. popular singer. Franklin's family moved from Memphis to Detroit when she was two. Her father, C.L. Franklin, was a well-known revivalist preacher; his church and home were visited by musical luminaries such as Clara Ward, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, and Dinah Washington. Franklin made her first recording at age 12. At first she performed only gospel music, but at age 18 she switched from sacred to secular music. After struggling for a number of years to achieve crossover success, in 1967 her powerful and fervent voice took the country by storm as she began to release a string of songs including “I Never Loved a Man,” “Respect,” “Chain of Fools,” “Think,” and “Natural Woman.” Her rousing mixture of gospel and rhythm and blues defined the golden age of soul music of the 1960s. In 1987 she became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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