‘Say a Little Prayer’: Music legend Aretha Franklin dies aged 76

Danny Woods
August 16, 2018

She was reportedly visited at home by Stevie Wonder and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

She performed at the inaugurations of former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, and also sang at the memorial service for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.in 1968. These songs would go on to earn her the title of Queen of Soul.

Franklin died on Thursday in Detroit where familiy and friends had gathered during her final days, her publicist told U.S. media. She was surrounded by family and loved ones. She turns the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" into an eloquent honky-tonk lament, changing the lyrics to the first-person, shifting the action-and the pure loneliness described in the song-onto herself: "I'm Eleanor Rigby", she sings.

"You know, the last couple of days, it has not been good". It was never the other way around.

Here are some of the best tracks by acclaimed singer Aretha Franklin. Her raw vocal talent, the way she whirled those notes up and out of her body, was obvious. "She found success in 1967 when she signed with Atlanta Records and released songs like "Respect", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and "Think".

Franklin was one of the most respected artists of all-time.

Singer John Legend wrote: "Salute to the Queen".

The music icon died of advanced pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. "But when I recorded it, it was pretty much a male-female kind of thing". "I'm so sorry. I didn't expect to have this reaction". She cemented her place in music history with her powerful voice that stretched over four octaves, and her hits spanned from soul to R&B to gospel and pop. Eleanor Rigby, The Weight, Gentle On My Mind, (I Cant Get No) Satisfaction, Bridge Over Troubled Water: All of them, she reimagined as her own.

A professional singer and accomplished pianist by her late teens, a superstar by her mid-20s, Franklin had long ago settled any arguments over who was the greatest popular vocalist of her time.

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February 1961 - Franklin releases her first album for Columbia Records. During this time, she earned 18 Grammys and became the first ever woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

She was married twice - first to Theodore White, who she Wednesday in 1961 at the age of 19, but they split in 1986 after White was accused of domestic violence.

She denied reports that she had pancreatic cancer a few years later, although later admitted to having had a tumour removed.

She endured several hardships later in life when her second son, Edward, was severely beaten in a gas station attack; multiple health issues struck that included a battle with obesity; and her dear friend Whitney Houston died.

The plaudits of her work weren't only from within the music industry, however, and in 2005 Franklin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-US President George W Bush.

Franklin cancelled planned concerts earlier this year after she was ordered by her doctor to stay off the road and rest up.

There is no replacing Aretha Franklin at Jazz Fest or any other concert, because there is no replacing Aretha Franklin, period.

The music legend began her career as a child, singing gospel at a church in her home state of MI. Theres no passing this crown down the line.

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