Aretha Franklin was an American singer and songwriter.
She began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was minister.
In 1960, at the age of 18, she embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records but achieving only modest success. After signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as "Respect," "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," "Spanish Harlem," and "Think." By the end of the 1960s she was being called "The Queen of Soul."
Franklin won 18 Grammy Awards and is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide.
Franklin recorded 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and 20 number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in the chart's history. Franklin's other well-known hits include "Rock Steady," "Jump to It," "Freeway of Love," "Who's Zoomin' Who," "Chain of Fools," "Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)," "Something He Can Feel," "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (a duet with George Michael), and a remake of The Rolling Stones song "Jumpin' Jack Flash."
Franklin received numerous honors throughout her career, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1979, and a 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in which she became the first female performer to be inducted. In August 2012, Franklin was inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Franklin is listed in at least two all-time lists on Rolling Stone magazine, including the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.
Franklin appeared on television hundreds of times, and in several movies, most notably The Blues Brothers (1980), as waitress “Mrs. Murphy.” She reprised the role in the 2000 sequel, Blues Brothers 2000.
Franklin died August 16, 2018, in Detroit, Michigan. She was 76.