Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul, Dies at 76

She was one of the most influential singers of the 20th century.

Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin performs during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival Opening Gala premiere of "Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of our Lives" at Radio City Music Hall on April 19, 2017 in New York City. (Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
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Aretha Franklin, known as the Queen of Soul and universally recognized as one of the greatest, most influential singers of the 20th Century, has died. She was 76.

Franklin was able to blend gospel, pop, standards, R&B and blues into what became known as soul. She was the daughter of Detroit minister C.L. Franklin and even after rising to unparalleled success at 18-years-old, Aretha never let go of her church stylings.

Her hits included unforgettable recordings as “Think,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Spanish Harlem” and the era-defining “Respect,” which had a vocal performance so commanding that even composer Otis Redding conceded Franklin had claimed “Respect” as her own, according to Deadline. 

More than 100 of her songs made the Billboard charts. At the time of her death, Franklin had won a reported 18 Grammy Awards — making her one of the most honored artists in Grammy history — and she was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. On top of her many achievements, she is also in the NAACP Hall of Fame, the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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