Elton John Posts Heartfelt Tribute to Aretha Franklin

Elton John Posts Heartfelt Tribute to Aretha Franklin

Probably Aretha Franklin's best known song, Respect, was released in 1967 at the height of a tumultuous period in the battle for U.S. civil rights.

The star was born Aretha Louise Franklin in Memphis, Tennessee on March 25 1942 to travelling Baptist preacher Clarence LaVaughn "CL" Franklin and mother Barbara, an accomplished singer and pianist.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said few people in the city's history had been as universally loved or had left as indelible a mark as Franklin, describing her as a "performer without peers". In 1968 she sang her heart out at the funeral of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.

Written by Aretha herself, this wash of tinkly keyboards and wandering love confessions stood out on her late-1990s reckoning with hip hop, A Rose Is Still a Rose. He was known for recording albums of sermons and music.

The music legend began her career as a child, singing gospel at a church in her home state of MI.

Aretha's love and knack for all things musical started early on in her life, when she learned how to play the piano by ear and singing in church. She began performing solos as an opening act for her father's preaching engagements, but Motown was calling. Most recently, she provided the soundtrack for episodes of GLOW and Scandal, and her discography has always been honored on reality singing competitions including American Idol and The Voice. She earned her first accolades in years when subbing on the Grammys for Luciano Pavarotti; she sang "Nessun Dorma", the Puccini aria he'd re-popularized.

"We hope you'll lift her up by listening and sharing her songs that have meant the most to you".

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Franklin's prolific career spanned six decades and included hit songs like "Respect", "A Natural Woman" and "I Say a Little Prayer".

Franklin was the recipient of numerous honors including 18 Grammy Awards. The soul of the '60s had morphed into the funk and disco of the '70s, and despite such shining achievements as her 1976 collaboration with Curtis Mayfield on Sparkle and its R&B smash "Something He Can Feel", Franklin closed the decade with shrinking sales and diminishing artistic returns. Franklin propelled her career into the 1970s with acclaimed albums like the moving gospel showcase Amazing Grace and the critically acclaimed and musically adventurous LPs Spirit in the Dark and Young, Gifted, and Black. The late Jerry Wexler, who produced Franklin's version for Atlantic Records, asserted that it "had overtones of the civil-rights movement and gender equality" and "was an appeal for dignity". Her popularity stayed strong with "Freeway Of Love", and the George Michael duet "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)". In 2009, she performed "My Country 'Tis of Thee" at President Barack Obama's Inauguration, and in 2014, she became the first woman to have 100 songs on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Earlier in the week it was widely reported that Franklin was "gravely ill." Franklin and White divorced in 1969 after seven years of marriage.

Franklin had two children from relationships when she was a teenager.

Franklin's second marriage was in 1978 to actor Glynn Turman, but the union ended in 1984.

Director Ava DuVernay called her "peerless".

In recent years, Franklins touring scaled back dramatically due to flagging health. "And Smokey said, 'Well, they just don't know who your healer is, '" Franklin told The Associated Press at the time.

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