aretha franklin

ram entertainment

“There are singers,” said Ray Charles, “then there is Aretha. She towers above the rest. Others are good, but Aretha is great. She’s my only sure-enough sister.” Ten years later, when Rolling Stone magazine named the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, Aretha placed first. Mary J. Blige explained the victory by writing, “You know a force from heaven. You know something that God made. And Aretha is a gift from God. When it comes to expressing yourself through song, there is no one who can touch her. She is the reason why women want to sing.” Since the moment Aretha stepped to the pulpit at her father’s famed New Bethel Baptist Church as a young girl singing in the great gospel tradition, the world has recognized her as a musical miracle. Her childhood friend Smokey Robinson said, “Our neighborhood was filled with kids who had musical talent. We could pick out melodies on the piano and sing along. But Aretha—at age six or seven—played whole chords on the piano. Complex gospel chords. At six or seven, she didn’t sing. She soared. She was the prodigy of prodigies.”