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Aretha Franklin Biography

Birth Name:
Aretha Louise Franklin
Birth Place:
Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Singer, songwriter

Fast Facts

  • At 14, she performed and recorded "Precious Lord" before her father's congregation, Detroit's New Bethel Baptist Church
  • Columbia Records released her first album, The Great Aretha Franklin, in 1960
  • In 1972, she had a small role in the TV show Room 222
  • Made her film debut in 1980's The Blues Brothers, singing "Think
  • " In 1986, Michigan law makers declared her voice the state's greatest natural resource
  • In 1987, she was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • In 1994, she was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
  • In 2005, President George W
  • Bush awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • In 2006, she became the first female artist to be honored by the United Negro College Fund with the Award of Excellence
  • Sang at the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009
  • Has been awarded honorary doctorates from Berklee College of Music, Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania


  • 2007Critics' Choice Awards-Best Song: nominated


  • Cecil Franklin -- Brother
  • Vaughan Franklin -- Brother
  • William Wilkerson -- Ex-fiancé
  • Ted White -- Ex-husband
  • Ken Cunningham -- Ex-significant Other
  • Barbara Siggers Franklin -- Mother
  • Carolyn Franklin -- Sister
  • Erma Franklin -- Sister
  • Clarence Franklin -- Son
  • Edward Franklin -- Son
  • Kecalf -- Son
  • Teddy Richards -- Son