Wilson-Wooddale Funeral Home
1553 Wooddale Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
For more information about
More Obituaries for Aretha Franklin
Looking for an obituary for a different person with this name?

Aretha Franklin

1942 - 2018
Aretha Franklin Obituary
Aretha Franklin

The "Queen of Soul," Aretha Franklin, died in her home city of Detroit, Michigan, on August 16, 2018, at the age of 76 years. She was born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee. The family first moved to Buffalo, New York, when Franklin was two years old, and settled in Detroit two years later. Shortly after her mother's death, Franklin, now ten, started singing solos at the church where her father was a preacher. Inspired by her father's political sermons, Martin Luther King, Jr. used to stay at their house when he would visit Detroit.

Her father, Clarence LaVaughn (C.L.) Franklin, began managing his daughter and included her in his "gospel caravan" church tours. Her debut release, Songs of Faith, was released in 1956, and then she signed with Columbia to pursue a pop career. In 1966, Franklin signed with Atlantic where she flourished with an extraordinary run of singles including (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and I Say A Little Prayer.

While her success dimmed in the mid-1970's, Franklin revitalized her career in the 1980's due in part to a series of musical collaborations with the likes of George Benson, George Michael, and the Eurythmics. She continued to release albums and perform throughout the 1980's and 1990's and received a lifetime achievement award from the Grammy's in 1994. In all, she won 18 Grammy awards and sold over 75 million records. In 2005, Franklin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

She was reported to have her family by her side at the time of her death, and they released the following statement:

"In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds."

Franklin is survived by her four sons, Clarence, Edward, Ted, and Kecalf, as well as numerous other loving relatives, friends, and admirers.

A public viewing will be held on

August 28th and 29th at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan, with a private

service on August 31st at the

Greater Grace Temple. Franklin will be entombed at Woodlawn Cemetery, alongside her father Rev. C.L. Franklin, brother Cecil Franklin, sisters

Carolyn Franklin and Erma Franklin, and nephew

Thomas Garrett.

Beginning on Wednesday,

August 22, you are encouraged

to stop by and sign a memorial book in

Ms. Franklin's honor at one of

our three funeral homes

located at:

Southwest Mortuary, 9021 Rainier Avenue S., Seattle, Washington Memorial, 16445 International Boulevard, SeaTac, or Bonney-Watson Federal Way,

1535 SW Dash Point Road, Federal Way.

Each facility will be open Monday - Friday from

9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Published in The Seattle Times on Aug. 19, 2018
Read More
Share memories or express condolences below.
 Add Photos
View All Photos
 Add Videos
View All Videos
Give others a chance to express condolences. Not right now.
Inform family & friends of Aretha's passing.
Planning Guide
Planning ahead makes a big difference. Get Legacy's free funeral guide and know your advance options.