Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul and Voice of Social Change

Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul and Voice of Social Change

American singer-songwriter Aretha Franklin was a civil rights activist. She is regarded as one of the greatest vocalists in history, and is known as the “Queen of Soul.”

Musical Background

Aretha Franklin's Musical Background
Image source: Rolling Stone

Franklin started singing in churches at an early age. She was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1942. Her debut album was released in 1960. She enjoyed a successful career for almost 60 years.

Franklin was well-known for her strong voice and versatility in pop, R&B, gospel, and soul music. Her popular songs include “Respect,” “Think,” “Chain of Fools,” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” As a civil rights activist, Franklin also performed at other significant occasions, such as the 1963 March on Washington and President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009.

Franklin passed away in 2018 at the age of 76. People all around the world continue to be inspired by her songs. (See the article about her son here)

The Voice of Aretha Franklin for Social Change

The Voice of Aretha Franklin for Social Change
Image source: The FADER

Two of Aretha Franklin’s other 1967 top ten hits, “Baby I Love You” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” are among her most well-known and cherished tunes.

“Baby I Love You.”

"Baby I Love You."

Jerry Wexler wrote and produced the soul ballad “Baby I Love You.” The song was a tremendous success for Franklin, reaching number one on the Billboard R&B Singles list and number six on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song is about a woman who is grateful for her partner’s devotion and is deeply in love with him.

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(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

Carole King and Gerry Goffin wrote the gospel-infused soul ballad “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” King recorded the song first, but Franklin’s version became the classic. The song tells the story of a woman who feels loved and empowered by her partner. It is a celebration of womanhood and self-love.

Both “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “Baby I Love You” are regarded as two of the best love songs ever written. Both songs are incredibly poignant and powerful, touching on the common human experience of love and connection.

These two songs were released during a period of intense social and political upheaval in the United States, which adds to their significance. Women began to fight for their rights as the Civil Rights Movement began. Franklin’s music spoke to people all over the world, and it played an important role in these movements.

“Baby I Love You” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” are two of Franklin’s most well-known and significant songs to this day. People of all ages and ethnicities continue to enjoy these timeless classics.

Meanings attached to the songs

Aretha Franklin’s songs “Baby I Love You” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” were important for a variety of reasons.

First, they were both released during the American Civil Rights Movement. Franklin was a vocal supporter of the movement, and her music was a powerful voice for social change. Her songs inspired and gave hope to many people who were fighting for justice and equality.

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Second, both songs were female-empowering anthems. Franklin’s message of self-love and self-confidence resonated with women everywhere, and her songs helped to inspire a new wave of feminists.

Third, both songs were innovative pieces of music. Franklin’s unique blend of pop, gospel, and soul created a new sound that had never been heard before. She was also innovative in her use of instrumentation and vocal arrangements. Franklin’s music helped to shape the sound of soul music in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Conclusion

Overall, Aretha Franklin’s songs “Baby I Love You” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” were significant for a variety of reasons. They were ground-breaking musical pieces, potent anthems for social change, and anthems of female emancipation. People all throughout the world are still celebrating and loving these songs.

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