You probably love the music of the great and amazing Aretha Franklin. But what do you really know about this amazing woman? She is a legend, no doubt, but her story is what makes her extraordinary. We consider her to be a part of black history, since she is one of the greatest performers of all-time.
So, buckle your seat belt, for here are 10 things you may not know about the amazing Aretha Franklin:
- Aretha Franklin’s middle name is Louise. She was born on March 25, 1942.
- The first song that Aretha Franklin ever sang was “Jesus, Be a Fence Around Me” in her father’s church New Bethel.
- Aretha Franklin had her first child, Clarence, when she was 12 and her second child when she was 14, Edward. Her grandmother and sister helped to raise the boys while she focused on her music career.
- Whitney Houston often referred to Aretha Franklin as “Auntie Ree”.
- Aretha Franklin was the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
- Aretha Franklin performed “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” at the inaugural ceremony for President Barack Obama.
- In 1979, Aretha Franklin received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- Aretha recorded “Respect” in 1967, the song was originally performed by Otis Redding. It became her signature song and was later named the anthem of the civil rights and the feminist movement.
- Rolling Stone listed Aretha Franklin as number one on the list of the Greatest Singers of All Time.
- Early in her career, Aretha dealt with addictions to chain smoking and alcoholism. She quit smoking in 1992.
Now you know the rest of the story. Sing on Aretha, we love you.