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Newsmaker: Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin was recently fined for not removing a tennis court at the site of her Detroit-area home, which is being destroyed after a 2002 fire. Early years: Franklin was born March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tenn. Her father, a Baptist preacher, ...

Aretha Franklin was recently fined for not removing a tennis court at the site of her Detroit-area home, which is being destroyed after a 2002 fire.

Early years: Franklin was born March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tenn. Her father, a Baptist preacher, encouraged her to sing in the church choir, and at the age of 12 she became a soloist. Two years later she began recording devotional albums.

Career: She signed to Columbia records in 1960 but only had marginal success in blues, jazz and pop. After a dozen albums, Franklin in 1966 joined Atlantic Records, where she found almost instant success with 1967's "I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Loved You)." The singles that followed, "Respect", "Natural Woman," and "Chain of Fools," to name a few, solidified Franklin as the reigning "Queen of Soul." Her career waned in the 1970s but she moved to Arista Records in 1980 and immediately regained momentum with two albums, "Aretha" and "Love All the Hurt Away." To date, she has recorded more than 30 albums. Each year between 1969 to 1975, Franklin won a Grammy. She is the youngest recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors as well as the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in1987. In 1994, she was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Grammy.

Family: Franklin had two sons, Clarence and Edward, before she was 17. She married Ted White in 1961. They had one son, Teddy Jr. In 1969, they divorced after he struck her in public and, in a separate incident, shot her production manager. She gave birth to her fourth son, Kecalf, in 1970. In 1978, Franklin married actor Glynn Turman, but they divorced in 1984.

In her words: "Trying to grow up is hurting, you know. You make mistakes. You try to learn from them, and when you don't, it hurts even more."

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Web link: www.biography.com

Compiled by Heather Leinen

Sources: VH1.Com, Rollingstone.com, Soulmusic.com

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