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Aretha Franklin’s Life in Photos

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When it comes to Aretha Franklin, the clichés are all true: She was larger than life. Her voice was the centerpiece of any room it floated through. She was able to succeed through multiple seismic shifts in music without losing her center. Looking at this survey of photos, most of which are of Aretha in the most public of public settings, in massive stage shows or meeting U.S. presidents, her power as a singer, musician, and icon shines through.

Aretha Franklin performs at Madison Square Garden in 1968. Photo: Walter Iooss Jr/Getty Images


Aretha Franklin performing live in 1968. Photo: Courtesy Everett Collection


Muhammad Ali and Aretha Franklin on The Muhammad Ali Variety Special in 1975. Photo: Courtesy Everett Collection


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The ‘Queen of Soul’ poses for a portrait circa 1967. Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Image



The Blues Brothers, Dan Aykroyd (far left), John Belushi (second left), Aretha Franklin (center), Matt Murphy (back right) in 1980. Photo: ©Universal/courtesy Everett Collection


Aretha Franklin and Oprah Winfrey backstage at Radio City Music Hall in 1991. Photo: Waring Abbott/Getty Images

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