Aretha Franklin may be gone, but she will never be forgotten.
The music legend was not only the Queen of Soul but also a force to be reckoned with in the music industry and made a major impact on the world of entertainment. Alongside her numerous musical accolades the 76-year-old singer had an illustrious career, with many firsts under her belt. Here are some facts you may not know about the incredible Queen of Soul.
At the age of 12 she birthed her first child
Franklin has four children, birthing her first child Clarence at the tender age of just 12. His father was Franklin’s school friend Donald Burk. Two years later, when she was 14 years, she had Edward named after his dad Edward Jordan. She would later marry her manager Ted White and had her third son named Theodore. Her youngest son Kecalf, now 48, is the son of her road manager Ken Cunningham.
She was married to actor Glynn Turman
After splitting from White in 1969 after numerous rumors of domestic abuse, Franklin would marry actor Glynn Turman in 1978. The actor was just coming off his role in Cooley High and was widely popular in Hollywood for playing Lew in Peyton Place. They wed at her fathers church in Detroit, Michigan. She became stepmother to Glynn’s three children from a previous marriage. The pair separated in 1982 after Franklin returned to Michigan from California, and they divorced in 1984.
She sang the opening credit to “A Different World”
You may have heard the opening credits to the hit NBC show “A Different World” thousands of times, but may not have realized the voice singing belonged to Franklin. Franklin sang the title song for seasons two through five for The Cosby Show spinoff starring Lisa Bonet reprising her role as Denise Huxtable. Franklin’s ex-husband, Glynn Turman, also joined the show in season two.
After her death, show creator, disgraced comedian Bill Cosby, thanked Franklin for lending her powerhouse vocals to the show saying: “Aretha Franklin – I want to thank her for her wonderful voice singing the theme song of “A Different World.” She made a big, strong positive impact on that series.”
Aretha Franklin – I want to thank her for her wonderful voice singing the theme song of “A Different World.” She made a big, strong positive impact on that series.
I am playing a cut from her… https://t.co/1U69Q8RiF9
— Bill Cosby (@BillCosby) August 16, 2018
She’s recieved over 12 Honorary Degrees
Franklin reportedly has received more than 12 honorary degrees from prestigious universities throughout her life. Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, Berklee College of Music and Yale University are among the institutions that have honored her with Doctorates of Music and Arts.
She Famously Got Into A Feud With Dionne Warick
Aretha Franklin is the queen of soul and shade. In a random turn of events, Franklin put Dionne Warwick on blast for a statement she made at Whitney Houston’s funeral. Warwick mistakenly said Aretha was at the funeral when she wasn’t and Aretha was BIG mad. “’Ree’s not here, but she is here. She loves Whitney as if she were born to her. She is her godmother,” said Warwick, after mistakenly announcing her when she wasn’t even in the building.
Apparently Aretha thought Warwick was trying to shade her but she didn’t address the issue five until five years later when she sent the The Associated Press a lengthy statement via fax calling Warwick’s words “libelous,” among other things. “She blatantly lied on me … fully well knowing what she was doing,” Aretha Franklin said in a phone interview with the AP.