Aretha Louise Franklin was born at 406 Lucy Avenue to Barbara and Clarence LaVaughn Franklin. Her father was a Baptist minister originally from Shelby, Mississippi, while her mother was an accomplished piano player and vocalist. Her parents had children, total of three, from outside their marriage. The family relocated to New York, when Aretha was two. Before her fifth birthday, in 1946, C. L. Franklin permanently relocated the whole family to Detroit where he became a pastor at New Bethel Baptist Church. Aretha’s parents had a troubled marriage, the couple separated, with Barbara relocating back to Buffalo with her son, Vaughn, from a previous relationship. Aretha’s mother later died of Heart Attack on March 7, 1952.
After her mother’s death, Aretha began to sing solos at New Bethel, with the hymn, “Jesus, Be a Fence Around Me”. When Aretha was 12, her father began monitoring her, taking her with him during his “gospel caravan” tours for her to perform in various churches. He helped hersign her first record deal with J.V.B Records, where her first album, Songs of Faith was released in 1956. At the age of 16, Aretha went on tour with Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr and in 1968 sang at his funeral.
Franklin was said to have recorded 112 singles on Billboard which include 77 HOT 100 entries, 17 top-ten POP SINGLES, 100 R & B, etc, becoming the most charted female artist in the chart’s history. Her other popular songs include: “Rock Steady”, “Jump to it”, “Freeway of Love” and lots more.
The American soul singer and pianist passed away in the early hours of Thursday, August 16, after a long illness, being admitted at an hospital in Detroit leaving her four grown up sons named; Ted White JR, Clarence, Kecalf Cunningham and Edward Franklin in the world. The singer was confirmed to have died of advanced pancreatic cancer in the early hours of Thursday at her home in Detroit.