Impressive and inspiring facts about Aretha Franklin:
- She was born to a church going family, her father, with a "million dollar voice" was a town preacher and she grew up surrounded by gospel singing.
- She learned to teach herself the piano.
- She had her first baby at age 12.
- Her first album at 14.
- At age 16 she went on tour with Martin Luther King Jr. and sang at his funeral when he died in 1968.
- She was signed by Columbia records at 18 but it was in Atlantic Records when she hit the top of billboards and became a national hit.
- Her nickname became the "Queen of Soul"
- She recorded over 112 songs, which included 17 top ten hits and 20 number 1 hits.
- She's won 18 grammy awards and was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- She was an activist for civil rights and a large supporter of Native Americans.
- Michigan declared her voice a "natural resource".
- She sang at 2 Presidential Inaugurations, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama who had this to say of her performance, "Nobody embodies more fully the connection between the African-American spiritual, the blues, R&B, rock and roll—the way that hardship and sorrow were transformed into something full of beauty and vitality and hope."
The list could go on. Aretha Franklin has been an inspiration to many but most especially the female community. We're grateful for her demand for "Respect" and hope to continue raising those standards.