Happy 75th birthday to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin!
Born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1942 to Clarence LaVaughn, a preacher, and Barbara, a piano player and vocalist. Barbara died when Franklin was just nine years old.
Franklin showed interest and skill in music early on, and was mainly self-taught, teaching herself to play the piano by ear.
She began playing the piano and singing gospel at her father's congregation in Detroit, and with her father's consent, signed to Columbia Records (having been courted by various labels, including the then-startup Motown Records). Aretha Franklin became the first woman to be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and has received numerous awards throughout her long career.