By Damilola Faustino
Aretha Franklin has passed away and the legendary queen of soul will surely be missed. The singer retired last year and rumours of her failing health circulated in recent years, before her eventual death on August 16, 2018. Her funeral arrangements have been announced by her family members.
She is best known for hits like “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Chain of Fools,” “Ain’t No Way,” and “Think.” Aside from her impressive discography, there are basic facts you may not have known about the iconic soul singer, Aretha Franklin:
She was the first woman inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Franklin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and became the first woman of any colour to receive the honour. Her recognition in the famed music hall came just months before The Beatles were inducted in 1988.
Her musical abilities are self-taught
Aretha learned how to play the piano by ear. She got her start singing gospel in her father’s church. Her musical style reflected her gospel roots.
She has more than a dozen honorary degrees
Franklin reportedly has received more than 12 honorary degrees from prestigious universities throughout her life. Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, Berklee College of Music and Yale University are among the institutions that have honoured her with Doctorates of Music and Arts.
She has performed at 3 presidential inaugurations
Franklin graced the stage at the inaugurations for Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. She sang “God Bless America’” at Carter’s inauguration gala in 1977, “I Dreamed a Dream” (from the Broadway show “Les Miserables”) at Clinton’s inauguration ball in 1993, and “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” at Obama’s inauguration in 2009.
She has been inducted into several halls of fame
Take a stroll on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and you will see a star dedicated to the Queen of Soul. But that’s not the only place to mark her fame in the music industry. Franklin has also received NAACP Vanguard Award and was inducted into the Apollo Theater Legends Hall of Fame. She was also the first-ever woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
She has more awards than you can count
Franklin is one of the most decorated artists in music history. She has won 18 Grammy Awards (and received 44 nominations!), three American Music Awards and three NAACP Image Awards. The 76-year-old singer had also been nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award, a Golden Globe and two MTV Video Music Awards. Franklin has also been honoured by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, received a National Medal of Arts and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 from President George W. Bush.
Read also: Aretha Franklin’s Funeral Details Announced
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