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Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin began life as the golden daughter of a progressive and promiscuous Baptist preacher. Raised without her mother, she was a gospel prodigy who gave birth to two sons in her teens and left them and her native Detroit for New York, where she struggled to find her true voice. It was not until 1967, when a white Jewish producer insisted she return to her gospel-soul roots, that fame and fortune finally came via “Respect” and a rapidfire string of hits. She continued to evolve for decades, amidst personal tragedy, surprise Grammy performances, and career reinventions.
Again and again, Aretha stubbornly found a way to triumph over troubles, even as they continued to build. Her hold on the crown was tenacious, and in Respect, David Ritz gives us the definitive life of one of the greatest talents in all American culture.
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