Aretha Franklin Sunrise March 25, 1942  Sunset August 16, 2015

“Being a singer is a natural gift. It means I’m using to the highest degree possible the gift that God gave me to use. I’m happy with that.”

 

Affectionately known as “Ree Ree” she was raised in the church and sang in the church at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was minister.  She made the decision to bring her soulful voice to the world and we have all been the better for it!

Her first album was a gospel album released in 1967 titled I never Love a Man the Way that I Love You.  She introduced us to a soulful and deep version of singing that was second to none.  Her 4 octave range would take you on an emotional ride every time she sang.

She is best known for songs like Chain of Fools, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Respect and most notably You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman. Her version of Amazing Grace is ranked up there with Mahalia Jackson.  She has sang before presidents and even the Pope.

Aretha was surrounded by family and close friends after being placed in home hospice a few days earlier.  She was visited by notable celebrites like Stevie Wonder and Jesse Jackson. She was very private about her health and had to pull out of many shows due to health conditions.  Last report is that she passed from pancreatic cancer.  Rest well Queen!  You will be missed but never forgotten!