Singer, songwriter, and the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Aretha Louise Franklin was born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee. The fourth of five children, Aretha Franklin was raised in Detroit, Michigan, where her father was the head of the congregation of the New Bethel Baptist Church. Often in the presence of popular singers, both gospel and secular, she was influenced by performers such as Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, and Dinah Washington. Gospel great Mahalia Jackson was also a visitor to the Franklin household. Franklin was first recorded as a gospel artist at age 14.
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Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection Volume One: Precolonial North America To The Early Republic – Dr. Peg A. Lamphier And Dr. Rosanne Welch, Editors
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