Today is a sad day in music history. Aretha Franklin, undisputed queen of soul, has passed away at 76.
Even today, its's hard for black women to achieve the same level of recognition that Aretha Franklin did in the 70s. But true talent cannot be ignored, and Aretha's voice has earned her a spot in the exclusive ranks of musicians that are truly considered iconic by society, that have become part of the cannon of music, and that are recognized for changing the world's sound forever.
Her career was incredibly long, spanning well over 4 decades, but I'm going to keep this article short- words can't really express how much she affected the world of music, and certainly not my words. There are many other articles that have been put out today, or that are going to be put out in the next few hours, that will much more knowledgeably and thoroughly explain her impact on music history. So instead of talking, I'll let some of her most memorable performances speak for themselves.
1. Aretha Franklin performs "Think" in "The Blues Brothers" (1980)
2. Aretha Franklin sings "My Country is of Thee" at Barack Obama's inauguration (2009)
3. Aretha Franklin subs in for Luciano Pavarotti at the 1998 Grammys (With only 20 minutes of preparation)
4. Aretha Franklin covers (read: greatly improves) Adele's rolling in the deep (2014).
5. Aretha Franklin performs "Natural Woman" at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors, reducing President Obama to tears and receiving a standing ovation when she drops her fur coat.
6. Aretha Franklin Performs Respect, (1968)
7. Aretha Franklin performs her hit version of "I Say a Little Prayer" (1970)
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