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After a fight with pancreatic cancer today at 9:40 am Aretha Franklin died today in her home in Detroit at 76 years old.  In music, she reached a pinnacle that very few people will ever reach, which was iconic. She had several visitors in the last weeks of her life including good friend Stevie Wonder. Jesse Jackson was also at her bedside as well as her former husband Glynn Turman.  Beyonnce and  JayZ also paid tribute to her at their concert last evening, but it is not known if they visited.


Aretha Franklin won 18 grammy awards, had 20 #1 singles (the most by any woman), was the first woman inducted into the hall of fame, first African American woman on the cover of Time magazine, a huge part of the civil rights movement with MLKjr.  She was awarded both the National Medal of the Arts and  Presidential medal of Freedom.


In addition she had 12 honorary doctorates from Harvard, Princeton, Yale and University of Michigan among others.


She performed at 3 Presidential inaugurations; Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. She sang at the Martin Luther king memorial service and many other monumental events in U.S. history over her career.


She had performed since the time she was 10 at her father’s church, a notable Baptist minister, Clarence LaVaughn Franklin.  She released her first gospel album in 1956. In 1967, she has her first  big hit with RESPECT using the Muscle Shoals rhythm section, “the swampers” along with “I Never Loved A Man” at the famed studio, at the request of her new label, Atlantic Records.  They wanted to open up her soul.


After a very long career, including appearing in the Blues Brothers in 1980 and again in Blues Brothers 2000.   She retired in 2017 from touring, saying she would still record.


She is survived by four sons, grandchildren, cousins, other family and friends.  Also millions of fans.


Being a singer is a natural gift. It means I'm using to the highest degree possible the gift that God gave me to use. I'm happy with that.” the Queen of Soul. 


wsucram15 Added Aug 16, 2018 - 11:08am
A huge influence to me..for many years.
opher goodwin Added Aug 16, 2018 - 11:13am
I just put out a tribute to her on my blog!! Such a great woman who stood for both civil rights and women's rights - a feisty lady with a big voice and even bigger heart!
I'll miss you Aretha!!
Dino Manalis Added Aug 16, 2018 - 11:19am
 Aretha was one of a kind, God Bless her.
wsucram15 Added Aug 16, 2018 - 11:33am
Opher and Dino..thanks.  This is so huge first time I have seen the news w/o politics on it. transcends it all.   Especially when the musician was one of a kind.
Ric Wells Added Aug 16, 2018 - 11:39am
She will always be the QUEEN.
Bill H. Added Aug 16, 2018 - 11:41am
She was one of my favorite artists of the past. I lost count of how many of her 8 track tapes got ate up in my Craig Pioneer combo 4/8 track player in my car back in the day.
She could certainly belt it out!
Janie Smith Added Aug 16, 2018 - 12:04pm
Huge influence for me also! RIP, Aretha!! 
Wendy Bugliari Added Aug 16, 2018 - 1:35pm
LOL, sorry I chose same subject, different angle YET how true that this icon took light OFF the darkest man in History in tribute to a WOMAN OF COLOR. 
Almost makes me tink God had a hand in this HA.
Nah, I explained my love for artist which I am not endowed with such so I can be the admirer instead.
Cant ALL be bestest at bestest or nobody would notice HA!
Accounting my major <;-O
Roberta Flack sings "The First Time" and somehow I thought Aretha has sung also, hmm, cant find version & truly give Roberta anyway because she OWNED that SONG, eh Jurg?
"Music calms the savage beast" they say and I agree UNLESS we listen to Jurg or Michael B. hard liner choices and then "Music wakes the savage beast" would be applicable IMHOA
Cheers all,
~The Bug~
Gregory S. McNeill Added Aug 16, 2018 - 1:51pm
I agree; Ms. Franklin is and was truly The Queen of Soul. There will never be another!
Stone-Eater Added Aug 16, 2018 - 2:39pm
Not my thing at all, musically. But I repect her for what she achieved.
opher goodwin Added Aug 16, 2018 - 3:50pm
Jeanne - music conquers all!!
wsucram15 Added Aug 16, 2018 - 4:08pm
It happens all the time Wendy.
Yes really does go above and beyond creating memories along the way. Not so much 8 tracks, but tape cassettes, yes. Her and Mary J Blige. love them both.
Hi..Janie! is an interesting story how she was pushed into that sound by some white guys from the south and her label.  But regardless...she excelled at any type of music she took on..she had the pipes.
I mean by that, she took Pavarotti's place and did an incredible job, come on now.
wsucram15 Added Aug 16, 2018 - 4:09pm
Thanks SEF..
Jeff Michka Added Aug 16, 2018 - 4:12pm
Nice tribute, wsucram15.  Aretha was music, and as such, no more needs to be said.  She did have the voice without a doubt.  True talents can never be replaced.
Janie Smith Added Aug 16, 2018 - 4:25pm
Hi, Jeanie!! :-) 
She had a very powerful voice and 4 octaves is nothing to sneeze at.
Its very sad that she died of pancreatic cancer, its so fast, so hard on families and loved ones who often don't find out that anything is wrong till just before they have to say goodbye. 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Aug 16, 2018 - 5:15pm
As a religious right-wing bigot full of hate and all of it, I always loved "I say a little prayer for you." Very sweet.
wsucram15 Added Aug 16, 2018 - 5:31pm is sad...this is a huge loss to the world.
Benjamin.. anyone can appreciate  God's beauty. Anyone.  Listening to it now in fact.
wsucram15 Added Aug 16, 2018 - 5:33pm
Ric..I didnt see your comment..sorry.  Thank you and you are right.
Wendy Bugliari Added Aug 16, 2018 - 8:20pm
I tried R E S P E C T really
~The Bug~
Mustafa Kemal Added Aug 16, 2018 - 9:43pm
wsucram15, got an email from and old friend regarding Aretha's passing this morning. It included a link and it took me back to 1967 when my mom brought home Aretha's 1967 album
I never loved a man the way I love you
That album got played alot.

RIP Aretha
James Travil Added Aug 16, 2018 - 11:40pm
Good tribute WSU. Aretha will forever be remembered for her musical gifts and being a women of color who achieved so much in a time that offered most others so little. 
wsucram15 Added Aug 17, 2018 - 12:16am
Great link Mustafa..really.  I have Apple and Prime so listened to it, actually listened to her all day.
James-she really did achieve quite a bit, I didn't know how much until today. Its sad we do that..
There are just some people you never met that when they pass away you really feel like you lost something from your life personally. I really dont know why.  Aretha Franklin for me at least was one of those people. Her music and definitely her spunk, moved me.
Anti-Limey Added Aug 17, 2018 - 12:58am
Very nice there Jeanne! Like most others out there, her work on The Blues Brothers spans my experience with her. However, I have yet to hear Aretha sing songs like this, I think I shared this link with you before, but I'll do it again, lol:
wsucram15 Added Aug 17, 2018 - 1:27am
Hey werent you getting into the blues and jazz a bit?
this might help you appreciate her voice a bit
then there is just aretha..
go in to 1:10 and listen if you cant listen to the entire 2 min.
No one has a voice like her.
wsucram15 Added Aug 17, 2018 - 1:28am
Love Ella Fitzgerald.   Glad to see you are listening. :)
Mark Hunter Added Aug 17, 2018 - 2:26am
18 grammy awards and 20 #1 singles! What a voice.
Even A Broken Clock Added Aug 17, 2018 - 10:53am
So now the Queen of Soul and the King of Rock & Roll can do a duet.  She epitomized an era. Great tribute.
Ward Tipton Added Aug 17, 2018 - 11:14am
Loved her music since back when I was a kid. She will be missed. 
Mustafa Kemal Added Aug 17, 2018 - 11:17am
Micheal B,
You make me feel
Goosebumps time
Gregory S. McNeill Added Aug 17, 2018 - 4:26pm
Well said!
I live in Harlem and people are gathering at The Apollo Theater and it's beautiful. I am speechless and it's a loss. Crowds had gathered when James Brown, Michael Jackson, and Prince died. Now that The Queen of Soul has passed away, what a loss. There will never be another Aretha Franklin. 
wsucram15 Added Aug 17, 2018 - 5:32pm
I know Gregory..its terrible. They were all favorites of mine. There isnt another Aretha or Prince or MJ or oh hell..James Brown. What talent in one sentence.
What a show that could be and at the Apollo Theatre, just saying.  Wow.
wsucram15 Added Aug 17, 2018 - 5:39pm
You know once in awhile, you hear a song from someone..its catchy. You think, hmmm this is different. It makes you move just a bit, maybe a lot (depending on where you are).  Then you hear the talent in the song..whatever it is..vocal (hopefully) and musically of course because you were moving.
If that same person can do that to you for many makes them an icon. Not many people can do that, have longevity and raw talent.
Aretha Franklin was one of those people, she got on the stage and commanded your attention. But that voice made the hair on your neck stand up.
There arent many artists like her, they are a gift.
Jeff Michka Added Aug 17, 2018 - 7:27pm
There really aren't many "artists", and they are all gifts.
Morgoth Added Aug 17, 2018 - 8:13pm
Great woman, great singer.
wsucram15 Added Aug 17, 2018 - 9:02pm
So true Jeff and Jeffrey.
Ric Wells Added Aug 17, 2018 - 9:04pm
Arethas performances were the quintessential mike drop.
Flying Junior Added Aug 17, 2018 - 9:04pm
She was just so good.  Fitting tribute.
That's it!  It was Atlantic Records and the famous studio at Mussel Shoals Alabama.  It was a musical Jambalaya in those heady days everything from Motown, the girl groups and Little Stevie Wonder.  The legacy of the great rhythm and blues artists and the rocknrollers from the Chitlin' Circuit in the 1950s and early 1960s.  But she had to be just about the sweetest voice that ever evolved out of that entire simmering pot!  Once in a lifetime explosion of talent, love and sound.
Anti-Limey Added Aug 17, 2018 - 10:30pm
These songs remind me of some of the good old 80's days:
Aretha Franklin, "Who's Zooming Who":
Janet Jackson and Herb Albert, "Diamonds":
Honorable mention: The Mary Jane Girls, "Candy Man":
opher goodwin Added Aug 18, 2018 - 5:28am
Jeanne - I love that multiracial house band - Booker T and the MGs. They were on all those great Stax Soul songs and wrote a number of them. They epitomised how you could achieve racial harmony at a time when there was still segregation and rampant racism.
wsucram15 Added Aug 18, 2018 - 2:06pm
MichaelB..the Mary Jane girls..I cant even believe you know who they are.  LOL
The 80s only had a few up and comers. Janet was one of them..Aretha was a given by then.  that was Madonna, MJ and Prince time.
Aaron Johnson Added Aug 18, 2018 - 7:02pm
Thoughtful tribute! Thanks for sharing.
Leroy Added Aug 19, 2018 - 12:10pm
No. No. No.  You got it all wrong.  It's R. E. S. P. I. C. T.
It comes from a very good authority.
“So in the words of my late friend Aretha Franklin, show some R-E-S-P-I-C-T, and the next time you get a black woman and a beagle confused, remember this: I got you.”   --Al Sharpton
Flying Junior Added Aug 19, 2018 - 3:09pm
Racial "harmony" through music!
Gregory S. McNeill Added Aug 20, 2018 - 2:13pm
I agree with you Michael B. I was listening to her Gospel songs this past weekend and they are beautiful. It is a loss and there will never be another Aretha Franklin! and to Michael B, Janet Jackson had made a surprise Appearance on 135th Street in Harlem this past Saturday during Harlem Week.  
Gregory S. McNeill Added Aug 20, 2018 - 2:15pm
It's interesting that you said that. MJ's Birthday is around the corner and would have turned 60 this year. Two months ago was also Prince's 60th birthday as well. Truly a loss.
wsucram15 Added Aug 20, 2018 - 5:59pm
Gregory..isnt that something?  I listen to both often, makes me sad we lost so much so soon.   I can remember my shock and what I was doing when I heard about either of them.  I was really upset about Prince, that came out of nowhere.  MJ..that was just horrible.
Gregory S. McNeill Added Aug 21, 2018 - 8:06pm
So true wsucram15. 
The documentary film Amazing Grace that was directed by the late Sidney Pollack in 1972 will be released after 50 years.  
Here is the link to the article:
Aretha Franklin Amazing Grace.
Gregory S. McNeill Added Aug 23, 2018 - 4:13pm
Her Funeral will be next week and the 60th birthday of Michael Jackson. Check local stations for a live broadcast. I believe that it will be on The Word Network which is a religious African American channel, TV One, and BET.