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Aretha Franklin's early influences in music began while still a little girl, singing at a Detroit church, where her father, Reverend C.L. Franklin, served as a minister.
Aretha Franklin was only fourteen when she made her first gospel recordings. She eventually signed to Columbia Records, and would record on that label throughout the first half of the 1960's. She left Columbia for Atlantic a few years later, by the late 1960's, Aretha Franklin had established herself as one of the biggest recording stars around.
Aretha Franklin's string of hits in the late 1960's include "I Never Loved a Man," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Chain of Fools," "Baby I Love You," "Think," "The House That Jack Built," and the iconic "Respect." Her success continued into the 1970's, with hits like "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "Spanish Harlem," and "Day Dreaming." Franklin also released Live at Fillmore West and Amazing Grace, two of her most successful albums, and ones she produced herself. Amazing Grace was a return to her gospel roots, and made its way to the Top Ten, establishing itself as one of the best-selling gospel-pop crossover albums of all time.
In the coming years, Aretha Franklin would enjoy more hits, including "Until You Come Back to Me," a cover with Stevie Wonder, and "Angel." One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism in 1987 brought her to her gospel roots once again.
In 2006, Aretha Franklin joined Dr. John and Aaron Neville for the national anthem at the Super Bowl XL games. Two years later, she won her 18th Grammy for "Never Break My Faith," a single recorded with Mary J. Blige.
In 2010, Aretha Franklin finalized a deal to sell the rights to her 1999 memoirs, Aretha: From These Roots, to film producers for the purpose of a biopic. The next year, she released A Woman Falling Out of Love.
Rolling Stone has ranked Aretha Franklin as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. She has earned eighteen Grammies in total, and in 1987 she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, becoming the first female artist to do so.
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