'Queen of Soul' Aretha Franklin dead at 76

Beyonce dedicates concert to ailing Aretha Franklin, ends bitter feud - Entertainment News

Though she began singing professionally in the early 1960s, it was in 1967 that her musical career took off, after she signed with Atlantic Records.

In 1977, Franklin took the stage at President Jimmy Carter's inaugural gala, and in 1993, she performed "I Dreamed a Dream" at President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonGiuliani: Trump legal team ready to argue Mueller subpoena "before the Supreme Court" In trade war, USA has economic edge, but China has political advantage Will White House press briefings return to what they used to be?

But her childhood was not a happy one.

"The entertainer famously caused then-President Obama to wipe tears from his eyes as she belted out a rousing rendition of "(You Make me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors.

She also performed at the inaugurations of three presidents, including Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Though she battled numerous health issues throughout her career, many of which were illnesses undisclosed at the time, Franklin continued to record songs and perform live until very recently; her last public stage appearance was at an Elton John AIDS Foundation gala in November 2017.

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She was born in Memphis, Tennessee, to parents Clarence and Barbara Franklin. As volatile waitress Mrs Murphy, she got to sing her classic anthem Think, as well as a few lines from Jailhouse Rock. "That wouldn't be good either", she added. "She does not seem to be performing so much as bearing witness to a reality so simple and compelling that she could not possibly fake it". She was 76 years old.

Known simply by her first name, Franklin was a cultural icon whose career spanned six decades and traversed various genres of music, from gospel to R&B to pop to opera.

By 1968 she was renowned throughout America and Europe as "Lady Soul" - a symbol of black pride who appeared on the cover of Time and was given an award by Martin Luther King. She died at 9:50 a.m.at her home in Detroit. The songstress was married twice, first to Theodore "Ted" White in 1961, but the marriage was reportedly abusive and they divorced by 1969. In 1965, during a show, the M.C. gave her a crown and declared her the "Queen of Soul".

The singer also struggled with depression, alcoholism and her weight.

After an eye-catching cameo in cult comedy The Blues Brothers, she scored a number of big hits in the 1980s including Who's Zooming Who? and the George Michael duet I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me).

- Her voice is unparalleled.

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