Aretha Franklin

Gifted with one of the most remarkable voices in the history of recorded music, Aretha Franklin poured her heart and soul into every riveting performance. The undisputed "Queen of Soul," Franklin began singing gospel music before establishing a successful career as a recording artist who tackled various genres, from jazz to rhythm & blues to opera, all with the same amount of conviction and masterful technique. Franklin's body of work included some of the most loved songs of all time, including the civil rights and female empowerment anthem "Respect" (1967), and the equally uplifting ballad "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (1967). With a commanding presence that rivaled royalty whenever she stepped onstage, Franklin captivated music lovers of all ages, races, and walks of life while receiving the highest honors and praise from music critics and even world leaders. Franklin broke new ground in 1987 as the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a crowning achievement for an artist who deserved to be called the greatest singer of all time. Her death on August 16, 2018 at the age of 76 was mourned by generations of fans and peers.