Aretha Franklin passed away on August 16 after her battle with pancreatic cancer. There are rumors that she was battling this disease since 2010.
After the devastating news, thousands of celebrities and fans took to social media to honor the music legend.
I’m sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin.— Ms. Ross (@DianaRoss) August 16, 2018
Even NASA shared a heartfelt tribute:
We’re saddened by the loss of Aretha Franklin. Asteroid 249516 Aretha, found by our NEOWISE mission and named after the singer to commemorate the #QueenOfSoul, will keep orbiting beyond Mars. See more details: https://t.co/NlW4vkmKDq pic.twitter.com/yZ0E5ofSQT— NASA (@NASA) August 16, 2018
The Queen of Soul has physically passed on from this world, but, undeniably, her legacy will stand the test of time.
Here are 10 little known facts about the powerhouse vocalist that will blow you away. She really does deserve all the respect she gets!
1. Her mother passed away when she was only nine years old
Aretha's mother, Barbara Vernice Franklin, left her family home after marital troubles with Aretha's father, Reverend C.L. Franklin.
The soon-to-be music legend was only six years old when her mother moved to go and live with her grandmother in New York.
Aretha has always disputed the rumor that her mother abandoned her and her family.
"In no way, shape, form, or fashion did our mother abandon us. She was extremely responsible, loving, and caring," she wrote in her autobiography.
According to reports, Barbara was a gifted pianist and made a life for herself working in a music store and giving private music lessons.
Four years after Barbara moved away from her husband and five children, she died of a heart attack at only 34 years old.
2. She was a teen mom
In 1955, the music legend became pregnant at the age of 12 with her son Clarence.
When she was 14, she had her second child, Edward.
And a few years after that, the singer had two more boys, Kecalf and Ted White Jr.
3. She dropped out of high school, but received 12 honorary degrees
Her achievements in music have earned her multiple honorary degrees from prestigious universities like Harvard, Yale, Brown, and Berklee College of Music.
She was also granted an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Wayne State University and an honorary Doctor of Law by Bethune-Cookman College.
4. Aretha inherited her incredible singing ability from her father
We know that Aretha's mother was once active in the music community, but we have no idea exactly how good her voice was.
Her father, who was a well-known pastor, was known as the "Million-Dollar Voice" and toured around the country.
Aretha got her start in singing by performing in her father's church choir, and this is where she developed her rare four-octave vocal range.
What's even more incredible is that Aretha taught herself how to play the piano, without knowing how to read a sheet of music. Music really does come from the soul!
5. She began touring when she was a teenager
When you're not in high school, you're probably doing something else that's more important.
For Aretha, it was traveling with great minds like Martin Luther King Jr. and making a difference.
In 1968, the powerhouse vocalist sang "Precious Lord" at MLK Jr.'s memorial service, and it's still regarded by some to be one of the most touching performances in history.
6. She was the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
In 1987, Aretha made history by becoming the first female artist to be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but that's not the only mark to her fame.
She also received the NAACP Vanguard Award and was inducted into the Apollo Theater Legends.
7. She performed at three U.S. presidential inaugurations
Aretha isn't called a queen for nothing! She performed at some of the most important historical events, such as the inaugurations for Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.
At Carter's inauguration in 1977, she sang "God Bless America."
At Clinton's inauguration in 1993, she sang "I Dreamed a Dream" from the Broadway show Les Miserables.
And at Obama's inauguration in 2009, she sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee."
8. She's also one of the most honored artists in history
With 44 Grammy nominations and 18 wins, Aretha goes down in history as one of the most influential female artists of all time.
She shot to fame in 1967 when she had four number one singles on the R&B charts.
Her songs "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)," "Baby I Love You," "Chain of Fools," and her version of "Respect" earned the singer her first Grammy nominations and wins.
9. She was a published author
Aretha had always been private about her personal life, until she published her 1999 autobiography Aretha: From These Roots.
In this book, she describes her childhood in Detroit being raised by her father.
She also goes into detail about her love life and music career.
10. She has a fear of flying
After one turbulent flight, Aretha developed an intense fear of flying.
"I've had a fear of flying since 1984. It just came on overnight," she once said. "I did take a class, Fearless Flyers, but I missed two weeks of it and my fellow students went on to Indiana and passed. And I didn't. So, I need to make those two classes and then hopefully I'll pass and I'll be able to fly again."