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Aretha Louise Franklin (born March 25, 1942) is an iconic American gospel, soul and R&B singer born in Memphis, Tennessee, but raised in Detroit, Michigan. On January 3, 1987 she became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Many have called her “The Queen Of Soul” and “Lady Soul”. She is renowned for her soul and R&B recordings but is also adept at jazz, rock, blues, pop, gospel, and even opera. She is generally regarded as one of the best vocalists ever by such industry publications/media outlets as Rolling Stone and VH1, due to her phenomenal ability to inject whatever she may be singing about with gut wrenching soul (hence the title) and sheer conviction. She has won sixteen competitive Grammys (including an unprecedented twelve for Best female R&B vocal performance) and the state of Michigan has declared her voice to be a natural wonder.
Franklin surprisingly has only had two songs hit the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100, “Respect” in the 1960s, and her 1980’s duet with George Michael, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)”. However, many of her singles have hit Top 20, Top 10, and Top 5 positions.
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