Aretha Franklin Backing Tracks – Baby I Love You … I Knew You Were Waiting … Respect … Say A Little Prayer … Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves … You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman
Aretha Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1942. A gifted singer and pianist, Franklin toured with her father’s travelling show and later visited New York, where she signed with Columbia Records.
Franklin went on to release several popular singles, many of which are now considered classics. In 1987, she became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2008 she won her 18th Grammy Award, making her one of the most honoured artists in Grammy history.
Multiple Grammy winner and “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin was known for such hits as “Respect,” “Freeway of Love” and “I Say a Little Prayer.”
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But while Franklin enjoyed moderate results with her recordings over the next few years, they failed to fully showcase her immense talent. In 1966, she and her new husband and manager, Ted White, decided a move was in order, and Franklin signed to Atlantic. Producer Jerry Wexler immediately shuttled Franklin to the Florence Alabama Musical Emporium (FAME) recording studios.
Backed by the legendary Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section—which included session guitarists Eric Clapton and Duane Allman—Aretha recorded the single “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You).” In the midst of the recording sessions, White quarreled with a member of the band, and White and Franklin left abruptly.
But as the single became a massive Top 10 hit, Franklin re-emerged in New York and was able to complete the partially recorded track, “Do Right Woman—Do Right Man.”
Hitting her stride in 1967 and 1968, Franklin churned out a string of hit singles that would become enduring classics, showcasing Franklin’s powerful voice and gospel roots in a pop framework.
In 1967, the album I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) was released, and the first song on the album, “Respect”—an empowered cover of an Otis Redding track—reached No. 1 on both the R&B and pop charts and won Aretha her first two Grammy Awards.
She also had Top 10 hits with “Baby I Love You,” “Think,” “Chain of Fools,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”
Franklin’s chart dominance soon earned her the title Queen of Soul, while at the same time she also became a symbol of black empowerment during the civil rights movement of the time.
In 1968, Franklin was enlisted to perform at the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during which she paid tribute to her father’s fallen friend with a heartfelt rendition of “Precious Lord.” Later that year, she was also selected to sing the national anthem to begin the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
Amidst this newfound success, Franklin experienced upheaval in her personal life, and she and White divorced in 1969. But this did not slow Franklin’s steady rise, and the new decade brought more hit singles, including “Don’t Play That Song,” “Spanish Harlem” and her cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.”
Following another relatively quiet period in her career, in 1993, Franklin was invited to sing at the inauguration of Bill Clinton, and the following year she received both a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and Kennedy Center Honors. She would also be the focus of multiple documentaries and tributes as the decade progressed.
Nearing its conclusion, Franklin reprised her former role in Blues Brothers 2000, released the gold-selling “A Rose Is Still a Rose” and stood in for Luciano Pavarotti, who was too ill to accept his Lifetime Achievement Award, with her rendition of “Nessun Dorma” commanding stellar reviews.
In 2003, Franklin released her final studio album on Arista, So Damn Happy, and left the label to found Aretha Records. Two years later, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and became the second woman ever to be inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame.
In 2008, she received her 18th Grammy Award for “Never Gonna Break My Faith”—a collaboration with Mary J. Blige—and was tapped to sing at the 2009 presidential inauguration of Barack Obama.
With 18 Grammys under her belt, Franklin is one of the most honored artists in Grammy history, ranked among the likes of Alison Krauss, Adele and Beyoncé Knowles. In 2011, Franklin released her first album on her own label, A Woman Falling Out of Love.
To support the project, she performed several concerts, including a two-night stint at the famed Radio City Music Hall in New York. With fans and critics alike impressed with her performances, she successfully proved that the Queen of Soul still reigned supreme.
Aretha Franklin Backing Tracks
A Deeper Love … Ain’t No Way … Amazing Grace … A Rose Is Still A Rose … Baby I Love You … Bridge Over Trouble Water … Chain Of Fools … Don’t Play That Song … Do Right Woman Do Right Man … Dr Feelgood (Love Is A Serious Business) … Freeway Of Love … House That Jack Built … I Don’t Want To Know … I Knew You Were Waiting … I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You) … It Hurts Like Hell … It Isn’t It Wasn’t It Ain’t Never Gonna Be … Pink Cadillac … Rock Steady … Respect … Say A Little Prayer … Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves … Spanish Harlem … Think … Until You Come Back To Me … Willing To Forgive … Wonderful … You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman … You’re All I Need To Get By