Published: Fri, August 17, 2018
Culture | By Margie Dunn

How Aretha Franklin made 'Respect' a feminist anthem

How Aretha Franklin made 'Respect' a feminist anthem

In a career crossing generations, her hits spanned from soul and R&B, to gospel and pop.

The youngest of four children, Franklin was born in Memphis on March 25th, 1942, to a preacher father, Clarence LaVaughn "C.L".

"It's hard to conceive of a world without her".

A professional singer and accomplished pianist by her late teens and a superstar by her mid-20s, Franklin had long ago settled any arguments over who was the greatest popular vocalist of her time. She also revealed that she was donating her famous 2009 inauguration hat to the Obama Presidential Library, "That hat took on a life of its own".

An official with the City of Detroit says her body will lie in repose at the Charles H. Wright Museum for African American History for two days.

She announced past year she was retiring from music.

She recorded steadily, releasing six albums by the middle of the decade with chart-topping songs like "One Step Ahead" and "You Made Me Love You", and her live show came to venues like the Showboat in Philadelphia and the Apollo in NY.

Shortly after signing with the label, she had her first number one hit, "I Never Loved a Man". I remember her giving me a lot of love and said she played my songs during her shows. It went on to become a touchstone of the feminist movement as well as the civil rights movement of the late 60s.

She had already released Respect, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and Think.

The 60 Minutes segment also features producer Jerry Wexler talking about why he calls Franklin the "Lady of Mysterious Sorrows". She died yesterday at her home in Detroit.

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