Aretha Franklin Facts: Everything to know about the Queen of Soul

KABC logo
Thursday, August 16, 2018
Aretha Franklin Facts: Everything to know about the Queen of Soul
EMBED <>More Videos

A look back at the life and legacy of the "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin.

Aretha Franklin, the "Queen of Soul," has died at age 76.

The music legend was known for her incredible four-octave vocal range and countless iconic performances in a career that spans decades.

RELATED: Aretha Franklin, 76, passes away

Here's a look back at the life of the Queen of Soul.

What songs is Aretha Franklin known for?

Franklin was known for her own hits as well as several covers. Here are some of the songs she's known for performing:


"I Say a Little Prayer"

"(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman"

"Chain of Fools"


How old was Aretha Franklin?

She was born March 25, 1942, making her 76 years old. She was born in Memphis but grew up in Detroit.

Who are her parents?

Aretha Louise Franklin was the daughter of Rev. C. L. (Clarence La Vaughn), a minister and gospel singer, and gospel singer Barbara (Siggers) Franklin.

Her parents separated, and Aretha lived with her dad during the school year and her mom during the summers. The family has disputed rumors that Barbara abandoned them. Barbara died when Aretha was still very young in 1952.

Franklin does not often speak publicly about her father's tragic death. He died in 1984 after a five-year coma that began when he was shot by burglars.

RELATED: Aretha Franklin's most iconic songs

How did Aretha Franklin learn music?

From an early age, Aretha performed at her father's church, New Bethel Baptist Church. She taught herself to play the piano without really knowing how to read music. She would then go on to study piano at Julliard School of Music in 1998.

Who was Aretha Franklin married to?

Franklin was not married when she died. She was married to Ted White from 1961 to 1969 and Glynn Turman from 1978 to 1984. Both ended in divorce.

Who are Aretha Franklin's children?

Franklin had four sons: Clarence, Edward, Theodore and Kecalf.

What are her notable live performances?

Throughout her prolific career, Franklin had many notable performances, including:

1968 -- "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" at the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

1977 -- "God Bless America" at the inauguration gala of President Jimmy Carter

1993 -- "I Dreamed a Dream" at the inauguration ball of President Bill Clinton

1998 -- "Nessun Dorma" at the Grammy Awards, unrehearsed, after an ailing Luciano Pavarotti could not perform

2006 -- "Star-Spangled Banner" at the Super Bowl

2009 -- "My Country 'Tis of Thee" at President Barack Obama's inauguration.

RELATED: Music industry, world grieves loss of Aretha Franklin

When was the last time Aretha Franklin released a new album?

Franklin's most recent album, which is called Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, was released in October 2014. Before that, she released Aretha: A Woman Falling Out of Love in May 2011.

Was Aretha Franklin still performing?

The singer announced last year that she would retire from music at the end of 2017. She had said she would still perform at "some select things," according to AP. Her most recent performance was at the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala in November.

What awards does Aretha Franklin have?

These awards are just a few of her many accolades:

18 Grammy Awards

Presidential Medal of Freedom (Given to her by President George W. Bush)

First woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

National Medal of Arts by the National Endowment for the Arts

Hollywood Walk of Fame

NAACP Vanguard Award

What are her accomplishments outside of singing?

She started her own record label called Aretha's Records.

She published an autobiography called Aretha: From These Roots.

She played Mrs. Murphy in The Blues Brothers and The Blues Brothers 2000.

She had two honorary doctorates in music from Berklee College of Music and Yale University.

CNN contributed to this report.