Aretha Louise Franklin (born March 25, 1942) is an American soul, R&B, and gospel singer, songwriter, and pianist born in Memphis, Tennessee, but raised in Detroit, Michigan, USA. She has been called for many years "The Queen Of Soul", but many also call her "Lady Soul," as well as the more affectionate "Sister Re." She is renowned for her soul and R&B recordings but is also adept at jazz, rock, blues, pop, gospel, and even opera. She is generally regarded as one of the top vocalists ever, due to her ability to inject whatever she may be singing about with passion, soul and sheer conviction. Franklin is the second most honored female singer in Grammy history after Alison Krauss. Ms. Franklin has won nineteen competitive Grammys (including an unprecedented eleven for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, eight of them consecutive), and the state of Michigan has declared her voice a natural resource.
Franklin has had two number one hit songs on the Billboard Hot 100, "Respect" in the 1960s and her 1980s duet with George Michael, "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)", and many of her singles have hit Top 20, Top 10, and Top 5 positions. Franklin is one of three acts to peak at each of the top 10 positions of the Hot 100, the others being Marvin Gaye (if counting duets with Tammi Terrell) and Madonna. She has enjoyed both critical and commercial success as a solo artist.