Although we are so saddened to hear of Aretha Franklin’s passing, we will never forget the icon! She leaves behind an incredible legacy — and we’ve got the pics to prove it.
Aretha Franklin tragically passed away on August 16, after reports that she was “gravely ill.” According to her publicist, the singer died at her home in Detroit. Needless to say, the singer did more in her 76 years than most of us could do with triple that time. While most of us know her for her classic songs like “Respect” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” there was more to the vocal powerhouse than met the eyes. Just look at the fact that she pursued a singing career at just 18, leaving her sister and her grandmother to take care of the two children she’d had at 12 and 14. And although she signed with Columbia Records in 1960, it wasn’t until signing with Atlantic Records seven years later that she found success. From there, her career skyrocketed and she earned her title, “The Queen of Soul.”
If anyone ever deserved that title, it was Aretha — just try to wrap your head around her long list of achievements. With 112 singles on the Billboard charts, Aretha became the most charted female artist ever. As if that wasn’t amazing enough, she wasn’t done smashing records and also became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the second in the UK Hall of Fame. She won a whopping 18 Grammy Awards over the course of her career and sold more than 75 million records. Michigan even declared her voice a natural resource in 1985 — no joke. Each and every one of those things would be iconic on their own, but when we said Aretha was leaving behind a legacy, we meant it! Her accomplishments go on and on.
Be sure to take a moment to click through the gallery above for photos spanning Aretha’s iconic career. The world lost an incredibly talented woman today — one who will not be forgotten!