The Queen of Soul

A master of her craft.

A master of her craft.

Symphony Jackson, Reporter

Aretha Franklin or what many have called the “Queen of soul,” died just recently at the age of 76 from pancreatic cancer. She was first diagnosed in 2010 with a tumor but then had surgery and returned to performing. She retired in 2017 after the performance that she did at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City during the 25th anniversary event for the Elton John Aids Foundation.

“I think that she had a very strong and powerful voice, and I recently watched a documentary on her and I didn’t know that she went through so many struggles, so I really appreciate that because she persevered through a lot,” said Mrs. Brittany Penn.

Her mother was also a singer but left when Franklin was six and then died four years later. Aretha had 4 children, Clarence Franklin, Edward Franklin, Teddy Richards, and Kecalf Cunningham. She soon ran into many problems consisting of an abusive relationship with her husband Ted White whom she divorced, an alcohol problem, and two arrests. She overcame these struggles and came out with hits like “Respect”, “A Natural Woman”, “I Say a Little Prayer”, “Chain of Fools”, and many more.

“I grew up listening to her, I remember her music and her passion and her soul. Her music spoke to my generation and other generations as well because you just feel her music when she sings and you embrace that in your heart because she was amazing,” said Mrs. Rike Shores.

Franklin sold over 75 million records, won 18 Grammy awards, has had 77 entries in the US billboard Hot 100, and 20 number one singles on the R&B charts. In 2005 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She fought through many struggles in her life and left a legacy that no one can deny.