Thursday, December 14

Top 20 Aretha Franklin Hits

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The legendary “Queen of Soul” was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1942.The daughter of Reverend Cecil L. Franklin, who was the pastor of the NewBethelChurch in Detroit, Aretha was taught to sing gospel music at the age of nine by the late Reverend James Cleveland.

Aretha recorded her first album at the age of fourteen, singing mainly gospel classics.After motherhood derailed her career for a few years, she signed with Colombia records in 1960 by John Hammond.She scored her first Billboard Top 40 hit in 1961 with “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody” which was a number one hit for Al Jolson in 1918 and a number ten hit for comedian Jerry Lewis in 1956.

Desperate to find her own “sound”, Aretha signed with Atlantic records in 1966 and worked with producer Jerry Wexler, who helped her achieve that sound her fans are so familiar with today.

Some of Aretha’s greatest achievements include, the winner of 18 Grammy Awards and two Honorary Grammy Awards, including Grammy’s Living Legend Award in 1990, the youngest recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 1994 and the first woman to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1987.

Chart wise, Aretha hit the Billboard Top 40 Billboard pop charts 41 times, including two number one hits.Here are Aretha Franklin’s 20 biggest pop hits:

1. Respect – 1967 – written and originally recorded by Otis Redding and Aretha’s first number one single.

2. I Knew You Were Waiting For Me – 1987 – Aretha’s only other number one pop single, which she sang as a duet with George Michael of Wham! fame.

3. Chain Of Fools – 1968

4. Spanish Harlem – 1971 – a #10 hit for Ben E. King in 1961.

5. Until You Come Back To Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do) – 1974.

6. Freeway Of Love – 1985

7. Baby, I Love You – 1967

8. (Sweet, Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone – 1968 – The B Side, “Ain’t No Way” went top 20 for Aretha and was written by her sister, Carolyn.

9. Day Dreaming – 1972

10. Bridge Over Troubled Water – 1971 – Written by Paul Simon and a #1 hit for Simon and Garfunkel the year before in 1970.

11. The House That Jack Built – 1968

12. Who’s Zoomin’ Who – 1985

13. Think – 1968 – Aretha was featured singing this song in the 1980 film “The Blues Brothers.”

14. (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman – 1967

15. I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You) – 1967 – Aretha’s first top 10 hit.

16. Rock Steady – 1971

17. I Say A Little Prayer – 1968 – This is one of many two-sided hits for Aretha.This song was the flip side of “The House That Jack Built.”It was also recorded by Dionne Warwick, who went to #4 in 1967.

18. Don’t Play That Song – 1970 – Aretha teamed up with the Dixie Flyers on this one and it was another Ben E. King song who had a hit with it in 1962.

19. Share Your Love With Me – 1969

20, Call Me – 1970

In 2008, Aretha was ranked #19 on Billboard’s list of Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists.She continues to perform and make new fans every day.

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