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Source: CS

Affectionately known as “The Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin is a music industry icon.

Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, Franklin, like most young girls of the time, began singing in the church. Landing her first record deal, as a gospel artist, at the tender age of 14. After achieving mild success, at the age of 18 Franklin decided to leave her gospel roots and began singing secular music.

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Commercial success would soon follow. Franklin dominated the 1960s churning out hits like “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” (1967), “Respect” (1967), “Chain of Fools” (1967), “(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone” (1968), and “Think” (1968).

Queen Of Soul Performing

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty

“The Queen of Soul” would go on to record over 100 chart-topping singles on Billboard, win a total of 18 Grammy Awards, and sell over 75 million records around the world.

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In 1987 Franklin became the first female performer to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


“I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)”

“Chain of Fools”


“Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)”

“Something He Can Feel”

“Freeway of Love”

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Black Music Month: Aretha Franklin  was originally published on