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Remembering Aretha Franklin

R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Find out what it means to me!

R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Take care, TCB.

Lines from the song, Respect. Though originally written by Otis Redding, the 1967 cover by Aretha Franklin, redefined the genre of Soul music, earning her the title of “The Queen of Soul.”

 

Aretha Franklin — who died Thursday at 76 — was a singer, songwriter and pianist. A distinguished and powerful vocalist, she sang in a voice that struck an ideal balance of affronted emotion and refined skill, sensitivity. Even when she hit a note with a high pitch, her tone never lost its rhythm. She had the ability to connect the African-American gospel music, the blues, R&B, rock ’n’ roll, and jazz in a unique way which gave hope, by transforming hardship and sorrow into vitality. This culmination of different genres of music can be seen in her songs which include Skylark, Chain of fools, Dr. Feelgood amongst the others.

 

Aretha Franklin was the face of feminism during her time, and her songs displayed that with complete valor. In 1967, she had released another song called Do Right Woman – Do Right Man. It was a proto-feminist anthem, and aimed at creating gender parity not only through the lyrics, but through the deep humanity in her vocal that was also the theme of the song. It also brought out one of her most nuanced performances.

 

During the civil rights movement, she played an important role in the 1963 Detroit Walk of Freedom, which was the largest civil rights demonstration in the nation’s history up to that date. Her songs were the the battle cries of the civil rights movement. They had taken on monumental significance. Her contribution as a activist is not restricted to the civil rights movement. She helped pay for many civil rights tours and campaigns while Martin Luther King was alive. She held free concerts, housed activists and helped them fundraise.

 

Like she once said, “I will always be singing somewhere.” she leaves behind a legacy which is unforgettable. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1979, had her voice declared a Michigan “natural resource” in 1985, and became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Apart from that, she has received 17 Grammy awards, the last one being the the last one being the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award in 1994.

 

Ms. Franklin has left an emotional imprint on a generation of fans. Even today, 40 years later, where EDM, Rap and Rock have taken over the music genre, Soul music still holds a special place in our hearts- or if I may say, our souls. And the credits for that go to the woman to whom this article is dedicated to. May your soul rest in peace, ma’am. You will always be remembered with the Respect that you deserve.

– Adil Sache

-TEDxPICT

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