The Queen of Soul dead at 76

She was a self-taught piano prodigy at an early age, and a songwriter and vocalist who had her first charted hit in the late 60s.  Aretha Franklin has died at the age of 76.

Born March 25, 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee, Aretha Louise Franklin began her time in music as a child. She sang gospel music at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit where her father, C.L. Franklin was minister.

At the age of 18, she first recorded in the secular world for Columbia Records, only achieving a small success.  In 1967, she received commercial acclaim after she was signed with Atlantic Records, the label where she would spawn hits like “Respect”, “(You Make Me Feel LIke) A Natural Woman”, “Spanish Harlem” and “Think.

While she had health problems for years, family announced that she was gravely ill on August 13, 2018.

Since receiving her first number one song with “Respect” in 1967, she’s had 77 songs in Billboard magazine’s Hot 100. In 1987, she was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame.  Later, Rolling Stone magazine would name her the “Greatest Singer of All Time.”