Belfast Telegraph

Aretha Franklin dies: The Queen of Soul’s biggest hits remembered

The singer has died at the age of 76.

Aretha Franklin’s greatest hits remembered after she dies at the age of 76 (Mario Suriani/PA)
Aretha Franklin’s greatest hits remembered after she dies at the age of 76 (Mario Suriani/PA)

Singer Aretha Franklin became known as the Queen of Soul for a string of seminal pop songs throughout a career that spanned five decades.

She won 18 Grammy awards and is estimated to have sold more than 75 million records.

Here is a selection of some of her most famous hits.

Aretha Franklin with singer James Brown in 1987 (Rob Kozloff/AP)


Originally written and sung by Otis Redding, Franklin’s signature number was released in 1967.

Her rendition is widely considered the definitive version of the song. It is held up as a feminist and civil rights anthem.

It contains the famous lines: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find out what it means to me.”

It topped the Billboard charts and reached the UK top 10.

(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

Released in 1967, the song was co-written by celebrated US songwriting duo Carole King and her former husband Gerry Goffin.

A Franklin original, it has been covered by the likes of Celine Dion and Mary J Blige.

Sir Rod Stewart also sang it from a male perspective on his 1974 album Smiler.


Franklin was seen in 1980 film The Blues Brothers miming an extended version of Think, another classic song of female empowerment.

The track also featured on the film’s soundtrack. The later version also featured Franklin’s sisters Carolyn and Erma on backing vocals.

The 1968 original was named by music website Pitchfork as the 15th best song of the decade.

Chain Of Fools

The gospel-inspired hit won Franklin a Grammy award for best female R&B vocal performance in the late 1960s and a Grammy hall of fame award in 2001.

Rolling Stone magazine listed Chain Of Fools inside the top 250 best songs of all time in 2004.

I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)

The first big hit of Franklin’s career topped the US R&B singles chart and reached the top 10 of the Billboard chart.

It features the playing of renowned saxophonist King Curtis and marked the beginning of Franklin’s successful recording partnership with producer Jerry Wexler.

This song featured in many films including The Commitments (1991) and has been covered by artists such as Alicia Keys, rock band Aerosmith and American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson.

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