Unraveling the Legend of Aretha Franklin

Click on the audio player to listen. CultureShift airs weekdays at 12 p.m. 

Last week, Detroit and the world mourned the passing of soul-singer Aretha Franklin. She was 76.

Over the weekend, WDET music-show hosts paid tribute to Franklin.

Rob Reinhart, the host of Rob Reinhart’s Essential Music, shares some of the most interesting information he learned about the Queen of Soul while doing research for his show.

Aretha Franklin is the only woman to ever chart 100 singles on the billboard charts.

Her first song to chart was “Today I Sing the Blues” in 1960.

54 years later, Franklin’s 100th chart single was a cover of Adele’s song, “Rolling in the Deep,” in 2014.

The Queen of Soul has been referenced in songs from all types of genres. Her songs have also been sampled many times.

Franklin’s “Spirit in the Dark” from 1970 was used by Kanye West’s “School Spirit” in 2004. Other artists to sample Franklin include Mos Def, Rapsody, Outkast, Slum Village, and many more.

In 1985, the state of Michigan declared Aretha Franklin’s voice a natural resource.

Image credit: Getty Images

Aired on: CultureShift
About the Author

Rob Reinhart

Host, Rob Reinhart’s Essential Music & Acoustic Cafe

Rob’s been doing radio his entire life… he likes it, a lot. Now he does radio on the air, online and occasionally in far flung places. Join him!

rreinhart@wdet.org   Follow @RobReinhart

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