Aretha Franklin's 6-Decade Career Is One of the Greatest of All Time, And She's Got the Numbers to Show for It
These days, the word "legend" is tossed around left and right — but if there's anyone who's most-deserving of the title, it's Aretha Franklin. After all, it's not everyday that The Rolling Stone declares you the Greatest Singer of All Time.
Franklin's hits—“Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel) A Natural Woman,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” and “Chain of Fools,” to name a few — have stood the test of time, and there are numbers to prove it.
She's earned 18 Grammy awards, a Presidential Medal of Freedom and was honored by the Kennedy Center; in 1987, she was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Seventy-three of her hits made it onto Billboard’s Hot 100 list — a record she held until 2017, when Nicki Minaj surpassed her.
In 2010, Time named Franklin one of the 25 Most Powerful Women of the Century (no big deal), further enforcing her title as “Queen of Soul.” For all that, her estimated net worth is $60 million, according to The Sun.
Franklin’s father had major influence on her career. Born in Memphis, Tenn., in 1942 and raised in Detroit, her father, Reverend C.L. Franklin, not only marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, but also encouraged her to sing at church. “Had he not been a minister, he could very well have been a great singer. I really didn’t want to sing, but he heard the possibilities and continued to encourage me. And thank God he did,” she previously told Time, saying that for her, “music is motivating, inspiring, and transporting.”
The self-taught master of the piano released her first album at the tender age of 14, and she later launched her celebrated career with Atlantic Records in 1967. According to the Chicago Sun Times, she had planned to release a compilation album, The Atlantic Singles Collection 1967-1970, this September.
Respect, Aretha. Respect.