By Josh Bell
In 1967, Aretha Franklin famously sang the heck out of a plea for “Respect,” in what remains her best-known song, and in the years since she’s gotten all the respect she could possibly hope for. The big-voiced soul singer has been named by Rolling Stone as one of the greatest singers of all time; she’s been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Gospel Hall of Fame; she’s won 18 Grammys and been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom; and she sang “My Country ’Tis of Thee” at the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009.
Franklin has been performing and recording for more than 50 years, from her debut gospel album released in 1956 when she was just 14 years old, through her 2011 album A Woman Falling Out of Love. She’s sung gospel, soul, R&B, blues, dance-pop and funk and everything in between, and she’s done it all with that stellar, immediately recognizable voice.
Franklin has all of that history to draw on when she performs live, including early hits like “Respect,” “Chain of Fools,” “Think” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and later successes like “Freeway of Love,” “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves” and “A Rose Is Still a Rose.” You can bet that when the Queen of Soul takes the stage, the audience will be showing her every bit of respect they have.