Caribbean Roots Stars Pay R-E-S-P-E-C-T To Aretha Franklin

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Aretha Franklin performs on stage at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Commemorates Its 25th Year And Honors Founder Sir Elton John During New York Fall Gala - Show at Cathedral of St. John the Divine on November 7, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/WireImage)

By NAN ET Editor

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Aug. 17, 2018: Caribbean roots Hollywood stars and public figures are among millions around the globe paying R-E-S-P-E-C-T and weighing in on the passing of iconic singer and ‘Queen of Soul,’ Aretha Franklin.

Franklin, 76, died on Thursday morning at her home in Detroit following a battle with advanced pancreatic cancer.

Trinidad-born rapper, Nicki Minaj, kicked off a jam-packed third episode of Beats 1’s Queen Radio on Thursday shortly after noon ET, with the music community in mourning following Franklin’s death by calling the legendary singer “an icon of all icons.”

“I don’t know anyone who she hasn’t inspired,” she said. “It seems strange to wake up and hear she passed, even though she lived a long and fulfilled life. But still, we’ve lost one of our icons. Someone we’ve all been inspired by.”

The 35-year-old rapper reflected on learning the Detroit native’s 1967 anthem “Respect” in school as a child. “I remember being in school learning ‘Respect,’ and that felt like a mini national anthem for us. It’s so weird how everyone grew up with that song,” Minaj said. “What I love about the song is not just saying ‘give me respect,’ it’s demanding respect. I like strong and iconic women. She was unapologetically the Queen.”

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“The Queen of Soul has left this earth to sit on her throne in heaven. How blessed we were to hear the best that God had to offer in her voice. RESPECT!,” Bahamian-roots singer Lenny Kravitz posted on Twitter shortly after news broke of the passing of the legend.

“For as long as I can remember, Aretha Franklin has been the absolute zenith, the guiding light, the master for any girl that aspired to sing or even just appreciated someone at the top of their game,” Cuban singer Gloria Estefan posted on Instagram. “I was blessed to have sung with her on more than one occasion and each time I felt that I was in the presence of musical royalty that would forever raise the bar and set the standard. Long live the Queen of Soul through her extraordinary & singular voice and her indelible music.”

‘Hamilton’ creator, Puerto Rico-roots, Lin-Manuel Miranda, tweeted that he was “lucky enough to have seen Aretha live exactly once …. thank you for the music, we will be listening to you forever” while Jamaican roots model, Naomi Campbell called Franklin a “true Queen.”

“It was an honor to have met you and worked with you,” she added.

Caribbean American Congresswoman, Yvette Clarke, called Franklin “the voice of my childhood.”

“A powerhouse. An advocate. A legend. THE Queen of Soul. There was no one like her, nor will there ever be. Rest in Power, Ms. Franklin,” she tweeted.

An all-star tribute concert to Franklin, celebrating her music, is scheduled for November 14, 2018 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

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10 Unique Fast Facts About Aretha Franklin

1: Aretha’s mother died before her tenth birthday.

2: Just after her mother’s death, Franklin began singing solos at New Bethel, debuting with the hymn, “Jesus, Be a Fence Around Me”.

3: She became pregnant at the age of 12 and gave birth to her first child, named Clarence after her father, on January 28, 1955. The father of the child was Donald Burk, a boy she knew from school. On January 22, 1957, then aged 14, Franklin had a second child, named Edward after his father Edward Jordan.

4: At age 14 as well, with her father as her manager, that began doing so-called “gospel caravan” tours in various churches. He helped his daughter sign her first recording deal with J.V.B. Records, where her first album, Songs of Faith, was issued in 1956.

5: At the age of 16, Franklin went on tour with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and in 1968 sang at his funeral.

6: After turning 18, Franklin confided to her father that she aspired to follow Sam Cooke to record pop music. Serving as her manager, C. L. agreed to the move and helped to produce a two-song demo that soon was brought to the attention of Columbia Records, who agreed to sign her in 1960. Franklin’s first Columbia single, “Today I Sing the Blues,” was issued in September 1960 and later reached the top ten of the Hot Rhythm & Blues Sellers chart.

7: Franklin was married twice. Her first husband was Theodore “Ted” White, whom she married in 1961 at age 19. After a contentious marriage that involved domestic violence, Franklin separated from White in 1968, divorcing him in 1969. Franklin then married her second husband, actor Glynn Turman, on April 11, 1978 at her father’s church. They separated in 1982 after Franklin returned to Michigan from California, and they divorced in 1984. At one point, she had plans to marry her longtime companion Willie Wilkerson but eventually called the 2012 engagement off.

8: Franklin’s sisters, Erma and Carolyn, were professional musicians as well and spent years performing background vocals on her recordings. Her brother Cecil became her manager and maintained that position until his death from lung cancer on December 26, 1989. Sister Carolyn died the previous year in April 1988 from breast cancer, while eldest sister Erma died from throat cancer in September 2002.

9: Franklin was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Wayne State University in 1990 and an honorary Doctor of Law by Bethune-Cookman College in 1975.

10: On January 29, 2018, the Oakland Press’s correspondent Gary Graff confirmed that the American Idol runner-up Jennifer Hudson will take the role to play Franklin in her coming biopic. Throughout her career, Franklin recorded 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and 20 number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in the chart’s history.

She won 18 Grammy Awards and was one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide. Franklin received numerous honors throughout her career including a 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in which she became the first female performer to be inducted. She was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. In August 2012, Franklin was inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Franklin is listed in at least two all-time lists on Rolling Stone magazine, including the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.


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