HAPPY 73RD BIRTHDAY
Aretha Louise Franklin (born March 25, 1942) is an American singer and musician. Franklin began her career singing gospel at her father, minister C. L. Franklin's church as a child. In 1960, at the age of 18, Franklin embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records only achieving modest success. Following her signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as "Respect", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and "Think". These hits and more helped her to gain the title The Queen of Soul by the end of the 1960s decade.
Franklin eventually recorded a total of 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and twenty number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in the chart's history. Franklin also recorded acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, Lady Soul, Young, Gifted & Black and Amazing Grace before experiencing problems with her record company by the mid-1970s. After her father was shot in 1979, Franklin left Atlantic and signed with Arista Records, finding success with a cameo appearance in the film, The Blues Brothers and with the albums, Jump to It and Who's Zoomin' Who?. In 1998, Franklin won international acclaim for singing the opera aria, "Nessun Dorma", at the Grammys of that year replacing Luciano Pavarotti. Later that same year, she scored her final Top 40 recording with "A Rose Is Still a Rose".
Franklin has won a total of 18 Grammy Awards and is one of the best-selling female artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide. Franklin has been honored throughout her career including a 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in which she became the first female performer to be inducted. She was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. In August 2012, Franklin was inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Franklin is listed in at least two all-time lists on Rolling Stone magazine, including the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, in which she placed number 9, and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time in which she placed number 1.
Her debut album was released in 1956 when only 14 years old. It was a live recording entitled 'Songs of Faith' and was recorded at the Church her Father was the Pastor of. The album has since been reissued under a number of different titles.
She released 9 albums for Columbia Records before signing to Atlantic Records where she would begin to reap the rewards that her talent truly deserved. Only 5 of them reached the charts but it was in the lower reaches or even the basement!
The album that finally broke her into the big times was 'I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You', released on 10th March 1967 on Atlantic Records. The album was recorded at the famed Muscle Shoals Studio and Atlantic's own studios in New York. Jerry Wexler produced the album that went on to reach #2 on the Album Charts in the USA.
Since her career began she has racked up recording 39 Studio albums (and released a new one last year, 'Aretha Sings The Great Diva Classics' on RCA), 6 live albums, more than 130 singles, and as for compilations of her music, well, there's at least 47 to choose from!
Aretha in 2014
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The S4L Top Ten
09. The Weight.
08. Rolling In The Deep.
06. Dr Feelgood.
04. Chain of Fools.
02. Amazing Grace.
And a Wee Bonus