Franklin, Aretha (1942–)

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Franklin, Aretha (1942–)

African-American soul singer. Born Aretha Louise Franklin, Mar 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee; dau. of Rev. C.L. Franklin (died from gunshot wounds sustained during a burglary, 1984) and Barbara Franklin; sister of Carolyn (singer) and Erma Franklin (singer, died 2002); m. Ted White, 1961 (div. 1969); m. Glynn Turman, 1978 (div, 1984); children: (1st m.) 4 sons, Clarence, Edward, Kecalf and Teddy.

Legendary singer known as "Lady Soul," was deserted by mother at age 6; toured gospel circuit with father (1950s); made 1st recordings at father's church (1956); signed to Columbia records and moved to New York (1960); earned R&B success with hits "Today I Sing the Blues" (1960) and "Won't Be Long" (1961), while pop success eluded her; signed with Atlantic (1966); reshaped soul music with series of crossover hits that included "Respect" (1967), "Chain of Fools" (1968), "Think" (1968), "Spanish Harlem" (1971), and "Until You Come Back to Me" (1973); appeared on the cover of Time (1968); developed flying phobia which limited her touring; had comeback after death of father (1984), with hits "Freeway of Love" (1985) and "Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves" (1986), a duet with the Eurythmics; earned Grammy for duet with George Michael, "I Knew You Were Waiting for Me" (1987); was 1st woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1987); hosted tv special "Duets" (1993); collaborated with Lauryn Hill and other contemporary stars on career-revitalizing album A Rose is Still a Rose (1999).