Aretha Franklin | Tennessee Vacation

Aretha Franklin

Stax Museum of American Soul Music
Memphis, TN 38126

With roots deep in gospel, Aretha Franklin made her first recordings as a gospel artist at the age of 14.

Aretha Louise Franklin is an American musician, singer, songwriter and pianist. In a recording career that has spanned over half a century, Franklin's repertoire has included gospel, jazz, blues, R&B, pop, rock and funk.

Aretha Franklin is one of the giants of soul music, and indeed of American pop as a whole. More than any other performer, she epitomized soul at its most gospel-charged. Her astonishing run of late-'60s hits with Atlantic Records--"Respect," "I Never Loved a Man," "Chain of Fools," "Baby, I Love You," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Think," "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman," "The House That Jack Built," and several others--earned her the title "Queen of Soul," which she has worn uncontested ever since.

In the '80s, Franklin added modern-day pop rock and dance elements to her sound with the album "Who's Zoomin' Who?" which spawned the hits "Freeway of Love," "Who's Zoomin' Who" and "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves."

Rolling Stone magazine ranked her atop its "100 Greatest Singers of All Time" list, as well as the ninth greatest artist of all time. She has won a total of 20 career Grammy Awards, including two honorary Grammys, and she has sold more than 75 million records worldwide. In 1987, Franklin became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. On August 14, 2012, Franklin was inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

The Stax Museum of American Soul Music is in Soulsville, a Memphis neighborhood about 2 1/2 miles south of Beale Street, close to the spot where the Stax recording studio was built in a former movie theater. The studio opened in 1960 but was later torn down. The museum, opened in 2003, has a touchscreen map that illustrates how the studio was part of a larger community where Aretha Franklin, Booker T. Jones (of Booker T. and the MGs) and other musicians once lived.

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