Aretha Louise Franklin was born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee, to Barbara and Clarence LaVaughn Franklin. Her father was a minister and a circuit preacher, and like most back then, was from Mississippi. Her mother was a piano player and a vocalist. Her parents had children outside their marriage. They then, going back here, relocated the family to Buffalo, New York. Aretha was only 2yrs old at this time. Then they moved again to Detroit, Michigan, where they stayed. Aretha was only 5yrs old this time. While there, her father took over the pastorship of New Bethel Baptist Church in which is where Aretha sang often. But shortly after, her parents separated because her father was accused of philandering and cheating her husband.
So, her mother moved to New York and only took her son and left Aretha there with her father. But she didn’t abandon her. She spent summers with her mother often. She also had her grandmother with her In Detroit. Around this time, Aretha had already learned to play the piano by ear. She wasn’t physically taught. Aretha’s father was very famous. He was known to have a million-dollar preaching voice. He was always asked to preach many sermons across the country.
Meanwhile, the news traveled to Hollywood, and he got visited by many celebrities. Such as Clara Ward, James Cleveland, Sam Cooke, and even Martin Luther King. Clara Ward, however, was a frequent visitor, especially with Aretha’s father, Clarence. Although upon asking, she denied It. I will break down all the rumors later.
Meanwhile, her mother’s health was fading, and she died on March 7, 1952, of a Heart Attack; Aretha was 10yrs old. Due to the activity going on with the church, family, and everything, which I will explain later. Aretha took the pain that she felt and started singing hymns in church. Her father started noticing her voice and also seeing people coming to hear her sing. So, he began managing her and made her a member of his gospel caravan. She was only 12yrs old at this time. Anyway, later Aretha dropped out of high school in her sophomore year. She signed her first record deal with J.V.B. records, it didn’t give her much popularity, and she didn’t make much money. During this tour, she finally met her biggest crush Sam Cooke, whom I have a crush on after his video. He was a very talented man and had an incredible voice. I will leave the link below. Oh, make note she was now 16yrs old at this time.
Remember, this was the beginning of civil rights and her father, and she was now touring with Martin Luther King, and she even sang at his funeral. She continued her singing on the Chicago circuit, but Sam Cooke took her that she decided to start singing pop and r&b music, well what they called It then was secular music. That’s when she got signed to Columbia Records, and they had to coach her to perform and sing Pop songs. She was so used to singing balled and gospel-like songs. Oh, this Is when Sam Cooke, who was like the R Kelly back then, you know he had the singing chops, producing talents, writing skills, he did It all, he was a music gold mine then. Anyway, he even tried to convince Aretha’s father to sign her with his label. But Sam Cooke wasn’t the only one who wanted Aretha. Berry Gordy wanted to sign her sister Erma and her to his label as well. But her father turned him down because he didn’t think Gordy’s label wasn’t established enough. This was, however, in the early ’60s. So, this Is when Aretha released her first single, “Today I Sing the Blues,” It was number 10 on the “Hot Rhythm and Blues Sellers Chart.” This was the beginning of her initial success. Aretha finally released her first album titled “Aretha: With The Ray Bryant Combo” It was on the top of the charts. That followed with more and more hits. It was shortly after that whereas she was crowned the Queen of Soul by a radio personality. She also got married during this success to Ted White. However, there was a rumor that she accidentally got pregnant earlier on by an unknown person will talk about that later in the rumors/scandals subject of this video.
Meanwhile, she was getting thousands of dollars now by doing shows and so on. But Columbia wasn’t producing enough commercial success for the diva. So, they refused to renew her contract, and she signed with Atlantic Records. But during the recording process, there was a lot of drama that she got Into, and she also witnessed many altercations with then-husband Ted White and studio owner Rick Hall and band members. However, the song “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) reached number 1. There she released many more hits, “Respect,” which was the signature song for the civil rights and feminist anthem. The hits didn’t stop. She ended up getting 2 Grammy’s. But It was In February, whereas longtime friend Martin Luther King honored her with a day named after her. He also gave her the SCLC Drum Beat Award for Musicians just two months before his death. She stayed with Atlantic for years and became a superstar, but they had their hands full with Ray Charles and many others. So, she left them and joined Arista Records, overseen by the devil’s advocate himself, Clive Davis. Of course, from there, they produced many other hits and collaborations. But before this, she left her husband Ted White and married Glynn Turman. But during the success with Arista Records, they divorced. Oh, and she went on to sing more and even sung for Obama at his 2009 Inauguration. She was honored many times and received many prestigious awards. So on so forth with her many, many, many career endeavors. Now, let’s get scandalous…
Okay, you all remember me saying that to notate her father. It was reported that Ray Charles was noted saying that her famous father used to hold many orgies after church. Her father even got a 13yr old girl pregnant, and they had a son named Carl Ellen Kelley. That is why they moved from Memphis, Tennessee, to avoid a scandal. Not to mention he was an alcoholic and used to beat her. That is also why she later left him. You see, back then, having sex/marrying girls under 18yrs old were overlooked and somewhat allowed. If you started your period, you were considered a woman. Hence, why so many men are pedophiles now, hell. It’s rooted in their blood by their ancestors. Regardless of race. Oh, and the scandal surrounding her death is worse. It was noted that she wasn’t at home when she had a heart attack. She was in a car crash, and she was only 34yrs. Also, she was getting ready to get her children back before her death. Oh, and note that everyone attended her funeral except Aretha’s father Clearance, you make the call. However, it was around this time where 12yr old Aretha was raising herself because she had one parent out of town and one having orgies with celebrities. Hence maybe that’s another reason why Sam Cooke came around. He loved sex, women, and young girls too. I forgot to mention that. So, it seems that poor Aretha got pregnant at the age of 12 yrs old. She named the young boy Clearance Franklin after her father. Now, the streets talk, and It was told that her father was the child’s father, but upon asked, they said It was by some random boy from school. But the raping, and I say raping because I’m sure she wasn’t a willing participant in any of this. Well, I hope not. You see, 2yrs later, she became pregnant again. Again, she said. It was by some random boy. You know, it was at an early age, whereas Aretha’s father used to keep a close eye out on her, they spent most of their time together. Aretha’s mind was so screwed up at that age, whereas It was reported that she was quoted saying in a “Ritz Magazine” “When It came to pure sex, they were wilder than me-and that’s saying something. In those days, I had a thing for orgies, but I had to be the only cat in the room with three other chicks”. So yes, her father used to preach God’s word, and later pimp rapes his daughters, and God only knows what else all at the same time. But Aretha’s mind was so controlled by him, she didn’t see that there was anything wrong, it was her daddy, and I think she was in love with him. That Stockholm syndrome, and I’m sure he promised her fame and much more for her silence. She was, after all, a minor. But do remember the scandal in Memphis in which he had escaped. She, too, was 13yrs old. It seems that her father has a thing for 12 and 13yr old. Hence the same age Aretha was when she got raped/pregnant. Notice the pattern. Oh, I’m not done yet… Her son later was so tired of the abuse, and not to mention he had mental issues because I’m sure he was getting sexually and physically violated as well. So, he got mad and burned down her house. So, they later put him in a mental Institution, left him there, and never looked back. Especially after she became more famous. Oh, I’m still not done yet… You remember her first husband with the temper, It seems. Well, that temper carried onto their marriage, and he was very abusive towards her, and that’s why she divorced him. Then she married Glynn Turman, and they stayed married for a minute. But she divorced him because she was secretly seeing her longtime companion Willie Wilkerson. Then It was in 1979, whereas her father was shot at an Aladdin Hotel In Las Vegas, where he was shot twice at point-blank range. What he was doing In Las Vegas at the famous Aladdin hotel Is still a mystery. Anyway, he remained in a coma and was later sent to his house back in Detroit, and Aretha paid for him to have 24hr nurse care. Aretha also took care of him with the help of some of her famous friends. Cissy Houston, Dionne Warwick, and many more. She was even named Whitney Houston, Godmother, oh yes. But she later put her father in Detroit New Light Nursing Home, where he died. There were also rumors of Martin Luther King Junior and her father being involved in some orgies. That Is apparently where the root of the cheating rumors of Martin Luther King was based from. Not from the people/race who killed him but by his people. Now, I don’t believe these rumors about Martin, but I must admit If he was hanging with orgy King Aretha’s father, Clearance Franklin, it does make you wonder. Oh, Jesse Jackson was part of these orgies, too, allegedly. But like the British say, all of it is just rubbish. Now, let’s move on to her health.
Okay, it was known that Aretha would smoke a couple of packs of cigarettes a Day and drink often, and by 1974, during a crash diet, she lost 40lbs. However, by 1992 all of the smoking and drinking were catching up with her and was messing with her voice. So, she decided to quit. That is when she started gaining a lot of weight like many people who stop some addiction. Anyway, in 2010, she was diagnosed with a tumor, and that Is rumored to be how she got pancreatic cancer. She tried to carry on, but her health wouldn’t allow her to, and she ended up canceling many shows because of It. But again, the streets talk, and It was reported that she had H.I.V. from all of the sex, drugs, and alcohol she did over the years, and she constantly lied and said It was cancer or some illness. That Is one of the main reasons she joined the Elton John Aids foundation, but again I’m not sure if It’s true, but the evidence Is damning. Now, this was between 2010-2017, you can live with H.I.V. for about 10 yrs, and then It turns into full-blown aids, and then you have about 2 yrs to live after that. But It various with Individuals. Every case is different. But her doing all those drugs and so on didn’t help the H.I.V. if she had It. But she later died on August 13, 2018, surrounded by friends and family in her Detroit home. Even though her life is full of heartache, adventure, demons, and much more, she also left behind her legacy, and she did, and I quote from what Obama said, “help define the American experience.” She opened a lot of doors for many who came after her. She also stood by her roots and stood up for them as well. While our ancestors were marching, she was too and singing their praises through her lyrics. She and Ray Charles both brought the mixture of gospel music to soul and r&b music. They will be missed and truly loved and always be appreciated for how they shape music. May they both Rest in Peace!!