The Queen of Soul turns 73 today.
Aretha Franklin was born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tenn., but spent most of her childhood in Detroit. Though she never recorded for Motown, she undeniably was part of the legendary soul sound pumping out of the Motor City in the 1960s.
Her father, C.L. Franklin, was a nationally renown preacher operating out of New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit. Recordings of his sermons were released on record, and a young Aretha toured with her father’s traveling revival show. In 1960, she signed with Columbia Records. But it wasn’t until she left for Atlantic Records in 1967 that her career really took off.
Aretha wasn’t the only soul chanteuse in her family. Her sisters Carolyn Franklin andErma Franklin also had record deals and laid down some incredible cuts. But neither came close to achieving the success or fame of their sister.
In 1987, Franklin became the first female solo artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She’s been awarded the Presidential Medal Of Freedom, as well as 18 Grammys.