Aretha Franklin gets my R.E.S.P.E.C.T. all year long…

…but there is NO Black Music Month celebration without celebrating the life and music of the Queen of Soul. Who has 2 films released on their life story in the same year, with an Oscar winner and an Oscar nominee portraying them?

Erivo “WAS” Aretha in the TV miniseries, “Genius: Aretha.” Jennifer Hudson “IS” Aretha in the film, “Respect”. Early press and reviews indicate that both ladies gave award winning performances as Aretha Franklin. I’ll link to these titles at the end.

There are many books, documentaries and videos of Aretha performing live. Aretha has been in the public eye since her first Gospel release in 1956 at the age of 14. In 1960 she was signed to Columbia Records…

…where she moved from Sacred to Rhythm and Blues music. In 1966 she signed with Atlantic Records, and it was Atlantic Records that housed some of her biggest and most beloved hits. “Respect”, “A Natural Woman”, “I Never Loved a Man (The Way That I Love You)”, “Think”, “I Say a Little Prayer” and “Chain of Fools” were just a few of the hits that helped crown Aretha…“THE QUEEN OF SOUL”.

Her 6 Live Albums were historical recordings, the 38 studio albums were events when released. She was featured on 46 compilation albums.

Aretha recorded 112 singles with
77 of them on Billboard’s Hot 100. Twenty of her singles landed at
No. 1.

Aretha’s first entry on the Billboard charts was in 1960 with “Today I sing the Blues” and her last chart entry was in 1998, when “A Rose is Still a Rose” reached No. 5.

After spending 12 years with Atlantic Records, Aretha signed a deal with Clive Davis at his Arista label. At Arista she struck Gold and Platinum once again. She was 38 years old when she signed with Clive, and she remained at Arista for over 20 years.

Along with all of her chart-topping albums, Aretha took some time out for a few acting roles. Her most memorable role came in 1980 for “The Blues Brothers” film where she played a soul food restaurant owner and wife of Matt (Guitar) Murphy.

When the Blues Brothers visit the restaurant with a plan to recruit Matt, Aretha busts into that iconic performance of “Think.” Legendary!

Aretha has won awards and accolades all over the world. But after a turbulent flight in the early 80’s, Aretha developed an intense fear of flying and she would no longer travel by plane. So, world travel and shows were now out of the question. If she could not get to a show by bus, she was no longer performing in those venues or countries.

Aretha remained relevant and active until her final performance at a fund raiser for the Elton John Aids Foundation in New York on November 7, 2017.

On August 16, 2018 the world mourned the loss of “The Queen of Soul”.

Her memorial service in Detroit was packed and televised. It was a who’s who of celebrities and dignitaries, to include former President Bill Clinton, Stevie Wonder, Clive Davis, Smokey Robinson and more, who all delivered beautiful and moving tributes to “The Queen”.

Check out the links below from a few of my Blog sponsors, and you too can experience the enormously gifted and LEGENDARY, “QUEEN of SOUL…ARETHA FRANKLIN.”

Collectors’ Choice Music has a huge collection of Aretha Franklin titles here. If you’re looking to shore up your Vinyl collection, has more than 20 LPs available here. has the DVD titles. Season 3 of the National Geographic mini-series “Genius” focuses on Aretha Franklin. It’s available here. The Blues Brothers is available here. And the Jennifer Hudson film “Respect” isn’t available yet, but you can pre-order the soundtrack on LP here.