Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Empower Magazine pays tribute to the amazing and timeless artistry of Aretha Franklin, a woman who embodied both soul and grace and earned the name “Queen of Soul” for her golden and soulful voice.
Countless tributes will come in the days and months ahead as a nation and the world mourns Aretha Franklin’s death and celebrates her life and the gift of music that she bestowed on audiences worldwide.
The Detroit native’s voice was declared a Michigan “Natural Resource” in 1985 because that gift resonated with so many and was a soothing balm in times of national tragedies and celebrations. There was victory in her voice, there was soul and there was healing. She was a gift to us – one that audiences received with open hearts.
The many firsts she accomplished in her celebrated career are a testament to her talent and come as no surprise:
- She was the first female performer to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- She ranked first on the Rolling Stone list of Greatest Singers of All Time in 2011.
- She ranked first on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Singers list in 2013.
- She received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1979.
- Her voice was declared a Michigan “natural resource” in 1985
Some of Franklin’s Number 1 singles included:
“I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” (1967)
“Chain of Fools” (1967)
“Bridge over Troubled Water” (1971)
“Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” (1973)
“Something He Can Feel” (1976)
“Jump to It” (1982)
“Freeway of Love” (1985)
But it wasn’t the number of top-ranking songs or albums that she produced in her career that created her legacy, it was how she left everything on every stage she performed on and the fiber and grit that filled every song she released from her heart that spoke to the human condition and our collective humanity – she made us feel.
And perhaps, Barack Obama’s tribute said it best when it said the Queen of Soul “graced us all with a glimpse of the divine.” And in another tweet elegantly conveyed the impact of her enduring legacy.