Aretha Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018)

 

A collection of Aretha links

America was always at its best when Aretha Franklin’s voice was the loudest in the room. We got one last reminder of that in the shadow of her passing, as a word one never associates with modern social media began to trend: Respect. David Remnick in The New Yorker: “Aretha Franklin’s voice was a pure, painful, and unforgettable expression of American history and American feeling, the collective experience of black Americans and her own life.”

+ “Acknowledging the musical genius of black women artists is important, not only as a source of respect but as a way to open the canon and see the ways in which black women, who are often viewed as mere ornaments in their own industry, have shaped music with their own surreal talent and aptitude.” Tomo Obaro: Aretha Franklin Wasn’t Just A Great Singer — She Was A Genius.

+ Matt Thompson in The Atlantic: “To be a popular artist is, generally, to bend yourself into whatever form the public demands of you. As audiences, we have tortured such gorgeous majesties out of our artists, coaxing them into unrecognizable shapes to satisfy our ever-shifting appetites and prejudices. Those contortions are more elaborate for people of color, practically byzantine for women, and downright murderous for black women. Aretha Franklin was unrivaled in her ability to bend that reality rather than bend to it.”

+ Lots of quotes, stories, and sounds from Quartz: Hail to the queen.

+ The greatest voice in American popular music has been stilled. Bette Midler and other musicians react.

+ “Coming to Muscle Shoals was a turning point.” Look back at the moment when Aretha became Aretha in a little studio in Sheffield, Alabama.

+ “The song turns from a plea from a man to the woman he loves to a woman’s demand.” Respect was written by Otis Redding. Aretha made it legendary. And from Slate: The story of the greatest cover song of all time and the quintessential empowerment anthem.

+ No one covered The Beatles like Aretha Franklin.

+ Variety: Aretha’s best live performances.

+ Photos: The Queen of Soul’s Amazing Career.

 

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