“Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin to be Inducted into Gospel Music Hall of Fame
Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, is taking her place in the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Franklin is one of six people who’ll be inducted into the Hall on Aug. 14 in Hendersonville, Tenn. She’ll be joined by bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs, family group The Hoppers, contemporary Christian singer Dallas Holm, the late TV evangelist Rex Humbard and Christian rock band Love Song.
Franklin’s gospel roots run deep, starting with her father who was a prominent Baptist minister. Her 1972 album, “Amazing Grace,” has sold over 2 million copies and is one of the best-selling gospel albums of all time. The Gospel Music Hall of Fame was established in 1971. More than 150 members have been inducted, including Dolly Parton and Elvis Presley.
She is known the world over by her first name and as the undisputed, reigning “Queen Of Soul,” Aretha Franklin is peerless. This 2005 recipient of a Presidential Medal Of Freedom honor (the U.S.A.’s highest honor), 17 Grammy Awards (and counting), a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a Grammy Living Legend Award. She has received countless international and national awards and accolades. Aretha has achieved global recognition on an unprecedented scale.
She has influenced generations of singers from Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole and Mary J. Blige to “American Idol” winner Fantasia Burrino and Oscar- winning Jennifer Hudson. Her ever-distinctive soulful, to-the-bone vocal style has graced the music charts for over four decades and while her ‘live’ performances have touched the hearts of literally millions since she began her musical journey as a gospel-singing child prodigy, it is her rich legacy of recordings that are a testament to the power, majesty and genius of this one-of-a-kind artist of the first order.
Beyond the timeless classic hits such as “Respect,” “A Natural Woman,” “Chain Of Fools,” “Think,” “Daydreaming” and “Freeway Of Love” among the dozens of chart-topping records that have established her as a cultural icon, Aretha Franklin’s catalog of over forty albums informs listeners of her unmatched, unparalleled artistry as an interpreter of song, bar none. Her elevation to ‘royal’ status is indeed not just a function of her hit-making ability but of her unique inventiveness as a musician who fuses art and soul seamlessly. Indeed, it’s often been said that Aretha could take ‘happy birthday’ and turn it into a veritable opus and while those who know her will testify to her culinary skills in the kitchen, it is her mastery as a musical chef that is evident on each and every one of those forty-plus albums, many of which have achieved gold and platinum status.
Inventive, innovative, always stretching her own artistic boundaries, we can be sure that when Aretha herself says she still has “so much more music to share,” the best is yet to come from the one and only “Queen Of Soul.”