Orange and White

“La reine est morte, vive la reine” The Queen is dead, Long live the Queen.

Hank Johnson, Staff Writer

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On August 16, 2018, the world lost a Queen, the Queen of soul, Aretha Franklin. For the past 60 years, Franklin graced the stage with her self-taught, stage-filling, gospel music. In 1956 she released her first album recorded live from her local church, although it wasn’t a hit it was the beginning of a beautiful career. Eleven years later she hit the top ten Billboard charts with “I never loved a man (the way I loved you)” and scored a number one hit with arguably most recognized song “Respect.” From then on she was a bonafide star releasing best selling album after best-selling album she topped the charts every time she hit the studio. She had the golden voice and the golden touch. In 1972 she won her first Grammy for her gospel album “Amazing Grace.” This was the first of many, by the end of her life she had a total of 18 Grammy wins with an additional 26 nominations. In addition to these wins, she has five recordings in the Grammy Hall Of Fame, a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Grammy Legend Award.

She was not just an artist, she was also a prominent activist and a hero within the feminist movement. A pioneer of her time she was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. At 52 she became the youngest person to receive the Kennedy Center Honor. Then in 2005, she received the presidential medal of freedom by then-president George W. Bush. In June 2017 she performed for the last time in Detroit and finally, in August 2018, she passed away in a battle with cancer. Her impact was too large to be calculated and will be felt for years to come. She will be missed.

 

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