On August 16th, Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul passed away at 76. Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee on March 25, 1942. We can thank her father, Rev. C. L. Franklin, for exposing Aretha to the world of gospel music. She began singing in her father’s Detroit Baptist church, undoubtedly where she began to polish her soulful singing style.
I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You
Columbia Records was the first to sign the singer in 1960. However, it was not until her contract with Atlantic and the release of her 1967 album, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, that Franklin became a household name with a gold album under her belt. Franklin’s single, “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You),” was her first pop hit, scoring a spot in the Top 10 list and number one spot for R&B.
Following Aretha Franklin’s Passing, Her Music Sales Have Soared
The Queen of Soul’s passing is a loss of a music legend. Countless artists who followed in Soul, R&B, and Pop were influenced by the songstress. In her lifetime, Franklin had 73 songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 and 100 songs on Billboard’s R&B singles list. She released 17 songs that placed on the Top 10 chart, as well as 21 songs that landed the number one spot for R&B singles.
On the day of her death, Aretha’s album sales skyrocketed to an astounding 19,000 copies in a single day. The day prior, her album sales were around 1,000 copies. According to Nielsen Music and The Hollywood Reporter, combined with digital song downloads, August 16th saw 134,000 copies of Franklin’s albums and tracks sold.
“Respect” and Women’s Empowerment
One of the best ways to honor the music legend is to continue to share her music. Franklin left an indelible mark on the music industry with her talents, as well as on the world with her strong presence and influence in racial issues and women’s rights. Much of her music was geared toward the empowerment of women, most notably her rendition of Otis Redding’s song, “Respect.” Redding’s version from a male perspective was a representation of a man’s world. But when Franklin reimagined the song, she had something else in mind. She took “Respect” and utterly transformed the entire meaning. It was—and continues to be—a woman’s anthem and a reminder that as women, we need to demand respect.
Music Stars’ React to Franklin’s Death: Crafting “the Soundtrack to the Lives of Many”
Many musicians took to Twitter yesterday to express their love and the loss of Aretha. Singers like Elton John, Patti LaBelle, and Diana Ross have truly embodied the impact that Franklin made on the world.
The loss of @ArethaFranklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church. Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated – she was one of my favourite pianists. pic.twitter.com/ug5oZYywAz
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) August 16, 2018
I’m sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin.
— Ms. Ross (@DianaRoss) August 16, 2018
Rest in peace Aretha. ❤ pic.twitter.com/QT7HeY5SIf
— Patti LaBelle (@MsPattiPatti) August 16, 2018
Remembering Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul. Featured Photo Credit: David Redfern, Redferns.