Remembering Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul

Remembering Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul

Soul legend

Text: Su Fen Tan

Image: Getty Images

Aretha Franklin has passed away on Thursday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 76.

In the 1960s, 'Respect' was the unofficial soundtrack of the decade. At a time when racial tensions and discrimination were still rife, the anthemic hit transcended colour lines. "In black neighborhoods and white universities, her hits came like cannon balls, blowing holes in the stylized bouffant and chiffon Motown sound, a strong new voice with a range that hit the heavens and a center of gravity that was very close to earth," wrote Gerri Hirshey, author of Nowhere to Run: The Story of Soul Music. Beyond the black power movement, it caught on with feminists, human rights activists, and people whose voices have been silenced across the world—such was the power of one Aretha Franklin.


Aretha Franklin was so much more than just a singer—she was a groundbreaking artist, the voice of a generation, the Queen of Soul. Best known for her now-classics 'Respect' and '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman', Franklin is the most charted female artist in Billboard history, with an astounding 112 singles that have made the charts. She also became the first female performer to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.


Heartfelt tributes are pouring in as the world mourns the loss of a musical legend that they have come to know, love and respect.




Indeed, thank you for the music, Queen of Soul. Rest in peace.