‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin Dies at the Age of 76

People pray at a morning service for singer Aretha Franklin at the New Bethel Baptist Church

Grammy-award-winning artist Aretha Franklin passed away on Thursday.

However, it was not until a decade later until she had her first major hit when 'I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)' became her first single to crack the Billboard top 10. To tell its story in sound would be impossible without Aretha.

Aretha Louise Franklin was born on March 25, 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee, to a Baptist preacher father, C.L. Franklin, and gospel singer mother.

Franklin liked Lemon's reporting, and he said that if she saw something she liked she would find a way to reach out to that person.

In 2015, she sang "America, The Beautiful" during a send-off ceremony for then-Attorney General Eric Holder.

Aretha's family have released a statement through her publicist Gwendolyn Quinn upon the event of her death today. "She is flying high with Him and no doubt singing Good News of Great Joy".

Franklin signed with Columbia Records as a teenager.

Within three years, she had released several of her most iconic hits, including "Respect" and "I Say a Little Prayer". Wexler had no idea where she had gone. Her first secular albums in the early 1960s blended R&B styles with pop and jazz and achieved only modest success. It was a song that felt personal but also embraced a whole community; its power could reach anywhere. "Everything she's thinking or dealing with is all in the music, from "Chain of Fools" to "Respect" to her live performances".

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"Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin has died at the age of 76.

Tributes immediately started pouring in from those who were lucky enough to know Franklin and those who admired and appreciated all that the legend did for the music industry.

A Civil Rights icon in her own way — she sang at the memorial service for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and would later do so for Rosa Parks — Franklin proudly transcended racial and cultural barriers in her music. With her death, the American singer has left a void in the musical world that will be hard to fill.

Franklin rewrote the rules, and shattered the limits, of what could be done with a song.

The statement continued: "Thank you for your compassion and prayers". The song was recorded in one take.

It was after a move to Atlantic in 1966 she achieved wider success, with her first single with the new label, I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You), reaching number one on the R&B chart and the top ten in the USA pop chart.

"What a life. What a legacy!" said singer Carole King. "And that's who she was". That's what makes it especially hard when someone who was so much a part of our social fabric leaves us, and we have no personal way of saying goodbye. Before performing, she and Obama fist-bumped on stage. She's an expert at both expressing and hiding.

Wexler wrote that he thought of Aretha as "Our Lady of Mysterious Sorrows". She occasionally confided her troubles in him, but mostly, she kept them close.

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