Her voice rang out at historical political milestones - at the 1968 Democratic party convention in Chicago that shortly followed the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr and Robert F Kennedy, and at the inauguration of the first African American president Barack Obama in 2009.
Nobody could inhabit a song like Aretha Franklin.
The iconic singer passed away Thursday morning at the age of 76 according to the family. "It's hard to conceive of a world without her". It's impossible to sum up a life like Aretha's but here are some vital facts to know.
Aretha Louise Franklin was born in Memphis on March 25, 1942, the fourth of C.L. and Barbara (Siggers) Franklin's five children.
Even her most thunderous performances retained their humanity - something her disciples often overlooked. Following an initial contract with Columbia, she emerged in earnest with an unimpeachable run of albums and smash hit singles on Atlantic Records in the second half of the decade. A year later, Aretha was released to the world.
"I thought it was really amusing, but she did a attractive job with the pre-record". Its follow-up, her definitive rendition of Otis Redding's "Respect", which was significantly revamped to come from a fed-up woman's perspective, topped both charts. "I will miss you!"
Music producer and Franklin's long-time friend Clive Davis announced the movie at his annual pre-Grammys party when introducing Hudson, who performed a medley of Franklin's hits Think, Rock Steady and Natural Woman.
Franklin won 18 Grammy Awards, and was honored with the Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994.
Franklin denounced Ritz's portrayal as false, suggesting the biographer had produced a "vindictive" book because the pair fell out during while working together on her official autobiography 15 years before. She and Ted were married from 1961-69. Her subsequent marriage to actor Glynn Turman ended in divorce in 1984. I love that she loved Detroit.
Franklin's songs, meanwhile, have been featured in countless films and TV shows during her decades-long career. The family would later move to Detroit, where Aretha's father served as pastor of the New Bethel Baptist Church.
"In later times, it was picked up as a battle cry by the civil rights movement", she told NPR in 1999. She died at 9:50 a.m.at her home in Detroit. When she was 14, her father began to serve as her manager and would take the teenage Aretha around various churches to perform.
Say what you want about Detroit, America, but the greatest singer in the world lived here and loved our city.
Franklin had previously canceled planned concerts earlier this year after she was ordered by her doctor to stay off the road and rest up.
"I'm not one to go into my personal health things", she told Associated Press in 2013. "That wouldn't be good either".
Her first album, Songs of Faith, was released in 1956 and scored two regional hits and spurred a tour with The Soul Stirrers, whose star was Sam Cooke.