Aretha Franklin: Another Star Lost

A Memphian with a heart of gold.

Aretha Franklin: Another Star Lost

Addison Nixon, Journalist on a Mission from God

Aretha Louise Franklin died August 16, 2018 at the age of 76. Franklin died in her home
in Detroit, MI, surrounded by her loved ones. She had been suffering from pancreatic cancer for
several years, and it finally took her life. Aretha Franklin, also known as the “Queen of Soul”,
was a singer, songwriter, and pianist who is credited for helping define a music genre and
provided an inspirational soundtrack for the Civil Rights-era. Franklin is accredited with many
awards, such as best female performance and best Rhythm and Blues Recording for her most
famous song ‘Respect”, as well has 16 other Grammy awards and 26 nominations for her music.
She received the Legend Award in 1991, the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994, and
MusiCares Person of the Year in 2008. Franklin was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997.
Along with her music career, Franklin did a little movie work, her most famous being Mrs.
Murphy in the 1980s film, “The Blues Brothers”. (See this here: https://youtu.be/Vet6AHmq3_s).

Franklin used both her voice and her platform to advocate for racial equality. When she
released one of her most famous songs, “Respect” it became an anthem for the racial and
gendered political movements of her time. Franklin stated, “It reflected the need of a nation, the
need of the average man and woman in the street, the businessman, the mother, the fireman, the
teacher- everyone wanted respect.” Because of Franklin being raised by a preacher father, and an
activist mother, it was only natural that she grew up to speak out so strongly for the rights people
deserved. Because of her success she was able to give money where it was needed for activists
working towards equality and performed many free concerts for the public. During this time, she
also performed on a popular TV series, “Soul Train” which was an all African American cast of
music and dance. (See this here: https://youtu.be/Xy75z0trlDk).

Aretha Franklin truly was one of a kind, and a huge inspiration in her time. She will be
missed, but never forgotten, along with her many hits that will still be sung for years to come.