Singer. Songwriter. Pianist. Icon. Legend. These are just a few words that describe the Queen of Soul Miss Aretha Franklin. Even though today’s youngsters may just know her as Patti Labelle’s rival in the YouTube sensation Got 2 B Real, Franklin, who was first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, has inspired a laundry list of current fan favorites from Mariah Carey to Fantastia to Alicia Keys.
Classic soul songs like “Natural Woman” and “Respect” have remained her signatures over the last 40 years. Even though the 70-year-old singer doesn’t always sound like she once did, the woman who invented the term diva really has nothing else to prove.
In honor of the Queen’s comeback a few nights ago at the 2012 Essence Music Festival, let’s walk down memory lane and check out some of Franklin’s lesser known masterpieces through her incredible live performances.
Although this was Franklin’s tenth album, it was the one that made her a star. The record is filled with classics like “Respect” and her cover of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come.” It is “Dr. Feel Good,” however; that showcases all of Franklin’s talents. Unlike today’s stars, Aretha could actually play instruments and write her own songs and this soulful tune is the perfect example of that.
In a world where artists lip sync for their lives and blogs call it a fantastic performance, it is a little refreshing to see that Aretha is a better entertainer than most by just sitting at a piano and blowing. Yet unlike Alicia Keys, Lady Soul gives you incredible energy and passion while not sounding like she’s trying too hard.
“Spirit in the Dark” was released in 1970 and is one of Aretha’s best albums in the earlier years of her career. “You and Me” is one of her best love songs.
Aretha suffered commercial failures during the disco era. Thankfully the 80s were kinder to the diva and songs like “United Together” show her incredible vocal range while proving that she still got it.
Most cringe when they see Jermaine Dupri wrote and produced a track for the Queen of Soul, but Aretha had to keep up with the times during the late 90s. This sassy number shows a more playful side of the singer. Most of Aretha catalogue sound better live versus the actual recording. Something that can’t always be said today in the music industry
post by Brittney | bbcott