Aretha Louise Franklin was born on March 25, 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee. Shortly before her fifth birthday, the Franklin family relocated to Detroit, Michigan. Aretha would spend her formative years in Detroit developing and perfecting her musical skills.
By 1961, at the age of 19, Aretha would release her debut album from Columbia Records. The project was titled Aretha: With the Ray Bryant Combo. However, her real break came in 1967 when she signed to Atlantic Records. By 1968, Aretha had two Grammys under her belt, as well as the massive commercial success to match. American soul music was witnessing the birth of an icon.
Aretha Franklin would continue to solidify her position as the Queen of Soul by releasing a string of chart topping singles and albums throughout the 1970's and 1980's. Aretha's musical impact spanned across several generations, and she is well loved and respected amongst music enthusiasts worldwide.
Aretha's success did not go unnoticed. She received many accolades throughout her career to commemorate her icon status. These awards include but are not limited to,
a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (1979), and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1987), which is notable because she is the first woman to receive that honor. She also received a Grammy Legend Award in 1991 and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. Miss Franklin was also the recipient of the National Medal of Arts in 1999, as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.
Aretha Franklin passed away on August 16, 2018 in her hometown of Detroit, Michigan. She was 76 years old. Miss Franklin leaves behind a lifetime of impeccable music. As the Queen of Soul she has inspired and influenced generations of artists, and her legacy will continue to live on through her discography. UHN honors and celebrates the life of the incomparable Miss Aretha Louise Franklin.