Aretha Louise Franklin (born March 25, 1942) is an American singer, songwriter and pianist commonly referred to as The Queen of Soul. Although renowned for her soul recordings, Franklin is also adept at jazz, blues, R&B and gospel music. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Franklin No. 1 on its list of The Greatest Singers of All Time.
Franklin is one of the most honoured artists by the Grammy Awards, with 18 competitive Grammys to date, and two honorary Grammys. She has scored a total of 20 No. 1 singles on the Billboard R&B Singles Chart, one of which also became her first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100: "Respect" (1967). "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (1987), a duet with George Michael, became her second No. 1 on the latter chart. Since 1961, Franklin has scored a total of 45 "Top 40" hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Franklin has the most million selling singles of any female artist with 14. Franklin has the record for the most #1 R&B albums female.
In 1987, Franklin became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Franklin was the only featured singer at the 2009 presidential inauguration for Barack Obama.