Aretha Franklin: Singer's ties to WNY run deep

Aretha Franklin: Singer's ties to WNY run deep
Posted at 11:41 AM, Aug 13, 2018

Legendary singer, Aretha Franklin is gravely ill in a Detroit hospital, according to her family.

As of Monday morning, she was responsive and surrounded by her loved ones.

The legendary soul singer, 76, has battled numerous health problems throughout the years and said she'd be retiring from concerts in 2017.

Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1942.  In 1944, she moved with her family to Western New York.  According to the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, her father, was pastor of Friendship Baptist Church, and also hosted the radio program, "The Voice of Friendship."

The Franklin family moved to Detroit in 1948, but she and her mother soon moved back to Buffalo after her parents split up.  The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame says Aretha was a, "regular visitor back to Buffalo, spending summers, until her mother, who worked at Buffalo General Hospital, died of a heart attack." Aretha's mother is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery.

In 1967, Franklin signed to Atlantic Records and launched many number one songs, including a cover of Otis Redding's "Respect," which became her signature song.

Franklin has received many accolades for her illustrious career; she was a Kennedy Center honoree in 1994, a recipient of the National Medal of Arts in 1999 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. She was inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame in 2005, as well.

The City of Detroit honored Franklin in 2017 by renaming a street in her honor. Aretha Franklin Way runs along Madison Avenue at Brush Street.


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