Aretha Franklin she broke the chains of her gender, bravely faced social inequalities and made her voice one of the most appreciated in the world, but her life always wavered between the stage lights and the shadows of what was happening in her personal world .
Following her death from pancreatic cancer at age 76 on August 16, 2018, tributes spilled everywhere for the talented singer, but various themes from her stormy past also came to light, including her fight against alcoholism. , abusive marriages, and your own insecurities.
These nightmares started with his father, Clarence LaVaughn Franklin a traveling preacher from Mississippi that became popular thanks to his emotional style of preaching, earning thousands of dollars to deliver sermons in various churches across the country.
As Aretha grew up and saw her mother's death, Barbara siggersAt the age of 10, she began to cultivate her own talent with her father as a manager; However, she soon learned about her vicious hobbies as she often used to organize wild orgies among her worshipers, which marked her childhood as she was even forced to participate in them.
As a result of the above, she became pregnant for the first time at the age of 12, in 1955. Her second child, Edward, was born in 1957, two months before Aretha's 15th birthday.
The care and support Aretha needed fell on several of, including her grandmother Rachel y Mahalia Jackson, known as "the best gospel singer in the world", who taught the young woman that everything in the world could be fixed by singing, and that was why she did not stop.
At 18, when she realized that she could open the doors of the exxic herself, she told her father that she dreamed of becoming a pop star, and began to be managed by Ted white, a man she married at 19 and had another child three years later, and who, according to close relationships with the singer, was not a good man.
People who accompanied Aretha in her early vocals described White as controlling and abusive because she was only using the singer to make use of the rewards of her success, which depressed her and turned her into alcoholism, even despite her success. Respect, simple that the had at the peak of music in 1967.
After nine years, Aretha finally divorced Ted after she could no longer hold the idea that she had a storybook marriage. According to his family and his autobiography Respect: The Life Of Aretha FranklinWritten by David ritzShe was having all that success and making all that money, but she was afraid to rock the boat, until one day the boat capsized and she almost drowned.
"There were stories of her being a victim of domestic violence and she didn't like that," explains Ritz, "but she didn't like the image of her being a battered woman. She loved the bluesBut she didn't want to be seen as a tragic blues figure. She took a picture of her having a happy home and happy children and rosy ... any story to the contrary really pissed her off. "
During the 1970s, according to several reports close to the great singer, it was not easy to work with Aretha as she did not attend the studio recording dates, drank excessive amounts of alcohol, even on stage, and had problems with her diet. since he ate compulsively.
In 1977, Aretha managed to quit her addiction to alcohol as part of a larger movement to rename her image, but her addiction to food remained. In 1978 she married the actor Glynn turman, but they divorced six years later, and although she was hopeful for her future, the 1980s brought with it a series of complications that would continue the wave of difficult times for the artist.
In 1979, his father was shot twice in his home in an attempted robbery and remained in a coma for the next five years. He died in 1984, which devastated the singer.
Added to this, her sister Carolyn and her brother Cecil, both died of cancer towards the end of the decade, which brought Aretha a wave of insecurities and jealousy that classified her as a diva difficult to deal with, also causing disputes with the most sensational newspapers that certainly fed on the most difficult attitudes of the star.
These complicated times of the artist made her deny some successes that would have catapulted her even more, for example, Paul McCartney y John Lennon they had written Let It Be For her, however, when she heard it for the first time, she did not know whether to record it because of her Baptist upbringing, as she believed that the part of 'Mother Mary' caused conflict, and in the end she preferred not to record it. Paul and John got tired of waiting and recorded it first, and the rest is history.
Despite the fact that it seemed that the difficult moments did not want to leave her alone, Aretha dedicated herself to singing and producing, not forgetting that singing life is made better, so the complicated time of 1980 and 1990 was of great work, enhancing her figure through collaborations with James Brown, Whitney Houston y Elton John.
In 1993 and 1997, she sang at the opening ceremonies of the government of Bill Clinton; and in 1995 he received a Grammy for his entire career while also recording with Frank Sinatra the song What Now My Love.
In 1998 it proved that it was one of the music's biggest stars of our century in a show of VH1 called Divas Live, where he performed with some of the artists who had broken the charts in the last decade as Mariah Carey, Céline Dion y Shania Twain.
In 2007, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and on January 20, 2009 he sang the song My Country This of Thee at the investiture ceremony of Barack Obama, who, without denying Aretha's turbulent life, once mentioned: "If I am stranded on a desert island and have ten albums to carry, I know that she is in the collection. Because she will remind me of my humanity. What is essential in all of us."
To this day, you can hear Aretha's influence across the American music scene regardless of genre. That another artist had that kind of impact? Bob Dylan. perhaps Ray Charles. The Beatles or Rolling Stones, but of course they are imports.