Queen of Soul with a voice that influenced a generation of singers dies aged 76
Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin has died
Aretha Franklin, the undisputed “Queen of Soul” who sang with matchless style on such classics as “Think,” ”I Say a Little Prayer” and her signature song, “Respect,” and stood as a cultural icon around the globe, has died at age 76 from advanced pancreatic cancer. Rumors of Franklin’s declining health followed her for several years, and she denied reports in 2011 that said she had cancer. She canceled a series of tour dates in 2017 and 2018 for health reasons, and in April her doctor ordered her to “stay off the road and rest completely.” Franklin released her first album, “Songs of Faith,” in 1956, and her decades-spanning career earned 10 top-10 singles, including “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Think,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Chain of Fools,” and her iconic 1967 cover of Otis Redding’s “Respect,” which became an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement. Franklin continued to release music in the following decades, scoring hits in the 1980s with a version of The Rolling Stones’ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and I Knew You Were Waiting For Me, a duet with George Michael. Her influence stretched far among female African-American singers, from Tina Turner and Whitney Houston to Ms. Lauryn Hill, whom Franklin worked within 1998, and Beyonce, who sang a version of Precious Lord at the Grammys in 2015.”Nobody embodies more fully the connection between the African-American spiritual, the blues, R&B, rock, and roll — the way that hardship and sorrow were transformed into something full of beauty and vitality and hope,” Barack Obama told The New Yorker in 2016.
Look back at Aretha Franklin performing “I Say A Little Prayer” in 1970
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