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Aretha Franklin’s first Canadian TV interview

The Story

"I'm not a star, I'm the lady next door," claims legendary singer Aretha Franklin in this 1998 CBC-TV interview. But she hasn't quite convinced host Laurie Brown, who's quick to point out that this "lady next door" also happens to be known worldwide as the the Queen of Soul. Throughout the discussion -- which happens to be Franklin's first Canadian TV interview -- the music icon also talks about the thrills and pressures of performing, her definition of "men" vs. "males," and even Martha Stewart's gardening tips.

Medium: Television
Program: On The Arts
Broadcast Date: Sept. 24, 1998
Guest(s): Aretha Franklin
Host: Laurie Brown
Duration: 11:54
This clip has been edited for copyright reasons.

Did You know?

• Aretha Louise Franklin was born March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tenn.

  • She released her first album in January 1961 at the age of 19. That same year one of her songs, Rock-a-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody, became her first Top-40 pop hit.


• Franklin's most famous song is considered to be Respect, which she recorded in 1967. Singer Otis Redding wrote and recorded the song first in 1965, but Franklin's 1967 cover of the tune quickly surpassed Redding's in popularity. It peaked at Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became something of a feminist anthem for the late 1960s. Franklin won two Grammy Awards for Respect in 1968. These were her first two Grammies.


• Franklin has won a total of 18 Grammy Awards since 1968. Her most recent Grammy was in 2008 in the category of Best Gospel-Soul Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group, for a duet with Mary J. Blige on the song Never Gonna Break My Faith.


• In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Franklin ninth on its "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" list. In the accompanying write-up, journalist and music producer Jerry Wexler described her natural talent: "I don't think she had any classical training. She just put it together. It was part of her genius. No one could copy her. How could they? She's all alone in her greatness."


• Franklin was a featured performer at U.S. President Barack Obama's inauguration in January 2009, singing My Country, 'Tis of Thee. The fancy hat she wore at the event (created by designer Luke Song) received a great deal of attention worldwide, and was later donated to the Smithsonian Institute.


• In November 2010, Franklin announced she was cancelling all concerts until May 2011 due to health concerns. The following month, it was widely reported that Franklin was suffering from pancreatic cancer.




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