Aretha Franklin: Live on Midnight Special 1976

A true icon, Aretha Franklin passed away today at 76 years old. Winner of countless awards, Franklin was a legend not just because of the accolades she achieved, but for the way she made her audiences feel. While her vocals can seem, at times, effortless, there’s such emotion and power driving them that listeners can’t help but feel their heart swell. Born in Memphis and raised in Detroit, Franklin thrilled audiences and broke boundaries (especially for black Americans) over her half-century career—and was declared a national treasure. The Queen of Soul gave countless phenomenal performances—and this electric 20-minute bonanza for Midnight Special in 1976 is one of the best. The legacy she leaves behind—musical and political—will continue to impact all of us.

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