Aretha Franklin dies at 76

Brunilde Fioravanti
Agosto 16, 2018

"That wouldn't be good either", she added.

It could be because her life, born to the family of a philandering baptist minister and ending up the female artist with the most entries in the US R&B chart's history, in many ways exemplified the trials and fortunes of many from her background.

Aretha Louise Franklin was born March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee, the daughter of Barbara and Clarence LaVaughn Franklin. It was around this time that Franklin started playing piano, singing and performing gospel songs at her father's church in Detroit.

"I love marriage-love the institution", she told Wendy Williamsin a 2011 interview, confirming that she still spoke to Turman. Franklin's father raised her as a single parent. A few years later her mother was dead.

She had not performed publicly since Elton John's annual AIDS benefit gala in November 2017.

Franklin had been reported to be in failing health for years and appeared frail in recent photos, but she kept her struggles private. She died at 9:50 a.m.at her home in Detroit. By the late '60s, Aretha became one of the biggest global recording artists of her time, putting out ten top ten hits in a roughly 18-month span between early 1967 and late 1968.

She was managed by Ted White, a man she married in 1961 at the age of 19 and had another child with three years later.

White was described by a number of sources as controlling, dealing out domestic abuse on many occasions. Here she is in the studio with Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox recording Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves in 1985.

It was closely followed up by an adapted cover of Otis Redding's classic hit Respect, which went to number one in the United States and made the UK top ten.

Reports recently emerged the Queen of Soul was "gravely ill" in Detroit, nine months after her last public performance at the Elton John AIDS Foundation gala in NY. Franklin's father ended up in a coma after being shot twice at his home and died five years later in 1984.

Thought to be in the final stages of pancreatic cancer, the Queen of Soul's friend told TMZ her weight has plummeted and that her circle has been told, "Prepare yourself, she's dying".

A family statement says said "Franklin's official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin's oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute" in Detroit. Her popularity stayed strong with "Freeway Of Love", and the George Michael duet "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)".

Franklin was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

A professional singer and accomplished pianist by her late teens, a superstar by her mid-20s, Franklin had long ago settled any arguments over who was the greatest popular vocalist of her time.

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