Franklin, Erma (1938–2002)

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Franklin, Erma (1938–2002)

African-American singer. Born Jan 1, 1938, in Shelby, Mississippi; died of cancer, Sept 7, 2002, in Detroit, Michigan; dau. of Rev. Clarence Franklin and Barbara Franklin; sister of Carolyn and Aretha Franklin; graduate of Clark College; attended Wayne State University; children: Sabrina Owens, Thomas Garrett Jr.

Made singing debut at age 5; formed a singing group, The Cleo-Patretts, and recorded for JVB, a small Detroit company; signed wth Epic records, then with Shout; had 1st rhythm-and-blues hit with "Piece of My Heart" (1967), which became a belated hit in the UK (1992), 25 years after it was 1st recorded; with sister Carolyn, sang backup on Aretha's recordings for Atlantic, including "Respect"; for over 30 years, worked for Boysville in Michigan.