Aretha Franklin sold 75 million records, won 15 Grammy awards, and boasted a range that few other singers had before she died this week at 76 years old. Franklin's legacy—her openness about female sexuality, her embodiment of soul and R&B, and her steadfast dedication to her art—has influenced thousands of artists who have come after her, from Alicia Keys to Ariana Grande.
Franklin was originally from Memphis, Tennessee. Born into a preacher's family, her earlier years were spent singing gospel music in church. As her career progressed, she became an icon for women of color during the Civil Rights movement, and her hit songs, from "Respect" to "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Loved You)," became household staples and American classics, spawning other songs and lyrics inspired by her powerful style.
On today's episode, Franklin fan and Tonic editor Rajul Punjabi sat down with Noisey editor-in-chief Eric Sundermann to honor the legendary singer.
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