Famous Singers

Top 10 Famous Aretha Franklin Songs You Need to Hear

Aretha Franklin, also known as the “Queen of Soul,” is one of the most iconic and influential singers in music history. Her powerful voice, soulful delivery, and undeniable talent have captured the hearts of millions around the world.

Throughout her career, she has released numerous hit songs that have become timeless classics and continue to be celebrated today. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the top 10 famous Aretha Franklin songs that you need to hear.

Respect – Famous aretha Franklin songs

No list of famous Aretha Franklin songs would be complete without mentioning her iconic hit, “Respect.” Originally recorded by Otis Redding, Franklin’s version of the song became an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement and a symbol of female empowerment. Released in 1967, “Respect” topped the charts and earned Franklin her first Grammy Award for Best RB Recording. The song’s powerful message and infectious beat make it a must-listen for any Aretha Franklin fan.

Top 10 Famous Aretha Franklin Songs You Need to Hear

The Story Behind the Song

“Respect” was written by Otis Redding and released in 1965 as a single from his album “Otis Blue.” The song was written from a man’s perspective, with lyrics about a man wanting his woman to show him respect when he gets home from work. However, Franklin’s version flipped the narrative, making it a feminist anthem. With the addition of the iconic “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” spelling and Franklin’s soulful delivery, the song took on a whole new meaning and became a worldwide hit.

Top 10 Famous Aretha Franklin Songs You Need to Hear

Impact on Pop Culture

“Respect” has become more than just a song; it has become a cultural icon. It has been covered by countless artists, including Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, and BeyoncĂ©, to name a few. The song has also been featured in numerous movies, TV shows, and commercials, solidifying its place in pop culture. It has become a symbol of strength, empowerment, and self-worth, making it one of the most famous Aretha Franklin songs of all time.

Fun Facts about the Song

  • Aretha Franklin was not a fan of the lyrics to “Respect” at first, but she rearranged and added her own spin to them, turning it into a feminist anthem.
  • The song’s iconic spelling was inspired by Franklin’s sister, Carolyn, who came up with the idea while playing Scrabble.
  • “Respect” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1987, cementing its place as one of the greatest songs of all time.

(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

Another classic Aretha Franklin song that has stood the test of time is “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” Co-written by Carole King, Gerry Goffin, and Jerry Wexler, this song became an instant hit for Franklin when it was released in 1967. Its heartfelt lyrics and Franklin’s soulful rendition make it one of the most beloved songs in her repertoire.

Top 10 Famous Aretha Franklin Songs You Need to Hear

The Story Behind the Song

“(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” was originally written for Aretha Franklin, although it was intended to be recorded by another artist. However, when Franklin heard the demo, she fell in love with the song and insisted on recording it herself. The song was inspired by Jerry Wexler’s observation of his then-girlfriend, songwriter Cynthia Weil, walking down the street and looking so beautiful that he thought she looked like a “natural woman.”

Impact on Pop Culture

This song has been covered by numerous artists, including Celine Dion, Mary J. Blige, and Kelly Clarkson. However, Franklin’s version remains the most iconic and unforgettable. It has been featured in movies, TV shows, and commercials, and continues to be a popular choice for wedding songs and romantic playlists. Its message of finding love and feeling like a natural woman resonates with listeners of all ages.

Fun Facts about the Song

  • The song was recorded at Atlantic Records’ studio in New York City, where Aretha Franklin had her first recording session at just 18 years old.
  • Carole King, one of the co-writers of the song, released her own version in 1970, which became a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
  • “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” is one of the most covered songs in music history, with over 100 recorded versions by various artists.

I Say a Little Prayer

“I Say a Little Prayer” is another timeless classic from Aretha Franklin’s extensive discography. Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, the song was originally recorded by Dionne Warwick in 1967. However, Franklin’s version, released in 1968, took the song to new heights and earned her yet another Grammy Award for Best Female RB Vocal Performance.

Top 10 Famous Aretha Franklin Songs You Need to Hear

The Story Behind the Song

Burt Bacharach and Hal David wrote “I Say a Little Prayer” for Dionne Warwick, who recorded it for her album “The Windows of the World.” However, when Jerry Wexler heard the demo, he loved it but felt that it wasn’t right for Warwick. He then played it for Aretha Franklin, who instantly connected with the song and put her own spin on it. Her version became a massive success, reaching number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Impact on Pop Culture

“I Say a Little Prayer” continues to be a popular choice for cover songs and has been featured in numerous movies and TV shows. It is a staple in Franklin’s live performances and remains one of her most beloved songs. Its upbeat tempo and catchy chorus make it a feel-good song that can brighten anyone’s day.

Fun Facts about the Song

  • Aretha Franklin’s version of “I Say a Little Prayer” was released as a single in 1970, three years after its initial release on her album “Aretha Now.”
  • The song has been covered by various artists, including Diana King, Whitney Houston, and Glee Cast.
  • Despite never reaching number one on any charts, “I Say a Little Prayer” is considered one of Aretha Franklin’s signature songs.

Chain of Fools

Released in 1967, “Chain of Fools” is another hit song from Aretha Franklin’s legendary career. Written by Don Covay, the song became an instant success, reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earning Franklin a Grammy Award for Best Female RB Vocal Performance.

Top 10 Famous Aretha Franklin Songs You Need to Hear

The Story Behind the Song

“Chain of Fools” was inspired by a conversation between Don Covay and Aretha Franklin. At the time, Covay was going through relationship troubles, and Franklin asked him how the woman he was dealing with treated him. He replied, “She gives me a chain of love with a snap that I can’t break.” Franklin loved the phrase and turned it into the title of the song.

Impact on Pop Culture

“Chain of Fools” has been featured in movies, TV shows, and commercials, making it one of the most recognizable Aretha Franklin songs. It has also been sampled in numerous songs and remains a popular choice for cover versions. It is a prime example of Franklin’s ability to take a simple phrase and turn it into a powerful and memorable song.

Top 10 Famous Aretha Franklin Songs You Need to Hear

Fun Facts about the Song

  • “Chain of Fools” was Franklin’s ninth consecutive top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
  • The song is based on a traditional gospel hymn called “Proud Mary,” which was adapted by Covay and used as the chorus for “Chain of Fools.”
  • In 1968, Aretha Franklin won a Grammy Award for Best RB Vocal Performance for her rendition of “Chain of Fools.”

Think

“Think” is another classic Aretha Franklin song that has stood the test of time. Written and recorded in 1967, the song became an instant hit and has since been covered by numerous artists. Its catchy hook and powerful message make it one of the most famous songs in Franklin’s discography.

The Story Behind the Song

“Think” was written by Franklin and her then-husband, Ted White. It was inspired by their tumultuous relationship, with Franklin explaining that she wrote the song as a way to tell her husband to think about what he was doing. However, producer Jerry Wexler convinced Franklin to change the lyrics to be more universal, and the song became a powerful message about self-worth and independence.

Top 10 Famous Aretha Franklin Songs You Need to Hear

Impact on Pop Culture

“Think” has been featured in numerous movies and TV shows, including the popular film “The Blues Brothers,” where Franklin herself famously performed the song. It has also been sampled in various songs over the years and remains a popular choice for cover versions. Its strong message of empowerment and standing up for oneself continues to resonate with listeners of all ages.

Fun Facts about the Song

  • “Think” was originally recorded by Aretha Franklin for her album “Aretha Now” in 1968 but was released as a single in 1967 due to popular demand.
  • The song was ranked number 95 on Rolling Stone’s list of “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”
  • In 1980, Franklin re-recorded “Think” with British singer Eurythmics, and their version became a top 10 hit in the UK.

Bridge Over Troubled Water

“Bridge Over Troubled Water” is a song that needs no introduction. Written by Paul Simon and originally recorded by Simon Garfunkel, Aretha Franklin’s version of the song has become just as famous, if not more so, than the original. Released in 1971, it became a hit for Franklin, reaching number six on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The Story Behind the Song

“Bridge Over Troubled Water” was written by Paul Simon and inspired by his friendship with Art Garfunkel. Simon wrote the song as a way to comfort his friend, who was going through a difficult time. When Aretha Franklin covered the song, she made it her own, adding a gospel choir and her signature soulful delivery to give it a whole new level of emotion.

Top 10 Famous Aretha Franklin Songs You Need to Hear

Impact on Pop Culture

Aretha Franklin’s version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” remains one of the most beloved covers of the song. Her rendition has been featured in movies, TV shows, and commercials, and has since become an essential part of her live performances. Its message of being there for someone in their time of need continues to resonate with listeners worldwide.

Fun Facts about the Song

  • Aretha Franklin’s version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” won her a Grammy Award for Best Female RB Vocal Performance in 1972.
  • The song has been covered by numerous artists, including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Whitney Houston.
  • In 2010, Aretha Franklin performed “Bridge Over Troubled Water” at the funeral of civil rights activist Dorothy Height, bringing everyone in attendance to tears.

Freeway of Love

“Freeway of Love” is a song from Aretha Franklin’s 1985 album “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?” Co-written by Narada Michael Walden and Jeffrey Cohen, the song became a massive hit for Franklin, reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earning her a Grammy Award for Best Female RB Vocal Performance.

The Story Behind the Song

“Freeway of Love” was inspired by Aretha Franklin’s love for driving. She explained that she loves to drive and listen to music, making the highway her “freeway of love.” Walden and Cohen wrote the song specifically for Franklin, with the vision of creating a catchy and upbeat track that would become an instant hit.

Impact on Pop Culture

“Freeway of Love” has been featured in movies and TV shows and remains a popular choice for cover versions. Its catchy chorus and fun lyrics make it a feel-good song that is impossible not to dance to. It also showcases Franklin’s versatility as an artist, as she seamlessly transitioned from soulful ballads to uptempo pop hits.

Top 10 Famous Aretha Franklin Songs You Need to Hear

Fun Facts about the Song

  • “Freeway of Love” features saxophone solos by Clarence Clemons, best known for his work with Bruce Springsteen.
  • The music video for the song features appearances by numerous celebrities, including Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, and Matt “Guitar” Murphy.
  • “Freeway of Love” won Aretha Franklin a Grammy Award for Best Female RB Vocal Performance in 1986.

I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)

“I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” is one of Aretha Franklin’s most famous songs, released in 1967 as the lead single from her album of the same name. Written by Ronnie Shannon, the song became a top 10 hit and is considered one of the greatest songs in music history.

The Story Behind the Song

Ronnie Shannon wrote “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” after a bad breakup. He explained that the song was written in 15 minutes and was intended for his then-girlfriend, singer Barbara Lewis. However, when Aretha Franklin heard the demo, she loved it and insisted on recording it herself. Her version became a worldwide hit and remains one of her signature songs.

Top 10 Famous Aretha Franklin Songs You Need to Hear

Impact on Pop Culture

“I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” has been covered by various artists over the years and continues to be a staple in Franklin’s live performances. It has been featured in movies and TV shows and remains one of the most recognizable and beloved songs of all time. Its emotional delivery and powerful lyrics have touched the hearts of listeners for generations.

Fun Facts about the Song

  • This song is credited with launching Aretha Franklin’s career and solidifying her as the “Queen of Soul.”
  • The song’s iconic opening guitar riff was created accidentally by session guitarist Spooner Oldham, who was warming up before recording.
  • In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” number 189 on their list of “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

Top 10 Famous Aretha Franklin Songs You Need to Hear

Ain’t No Way

Originally written for Aretha Franklin’s sister, Carolyn, “Ain’t No Way” was released in 1968 as the B-side to “Since You’ve Been Gone (Sweet Sweet Baby).” Written by Carolyn Franklin, the song showcases another side of Aretha Franklin’s artistry, with its soulful and emotional delivery. It remains one of her most beloved songs to this day.

The Story Behind the Song

“Ain’t No Way” was written by Carolyn Franklin specifically for her sister, Aretha. She explained that she wrote the song because she wanted her sister to have a song like “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You),” which had been written by Ronnie Shannon. Aretha Franklin’s version of “Ain’t No Way” became an instant hit, reaching number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Impact on Pop Culture

This song has been covered by numerous artists, including Whitney Houston and BeyoncĂ©. However, Aretha Franklin’s version remains the most beloved and recognized. Its heartfelt lyrics and emotional delivery have made it a favorite among fans and critics alike, solidifying its place as one of the greatest songs in music history.

Fun Facts about the Song

  • “Ain’t No Way” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2018, 50 years after its release.
  • The song was featured in the popular TV show “Scandal,” where it was sung by one of the main characters, Olivia Pope.
  • “Ain’t No Way” is one of the few songs written solely by Carolyn Franklin to be recorded by Aretha Franklin.

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Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)

Written by Morris Broadnax, Clarence Paul, and Stevie Wonder, “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” was released in 1973 as the lead single from Aretha Franklin’s album “Let Me in Your Life.” The song became a top 10 hit and earned Franklin yet another Grammy Award for Best Female RB Vocal Performance.

Top 10 Famous Aretha Franklin Songs You Need to Hear

The Story Behind the Song

Stevie Wonder originally wrote “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” for his girlfriend, Syreeta Wright. He recorded a demo of the song, but it was never released. Upon hearing the demo, Aretha Franklin loved the song and asked Stevie Wonder if she could record it. Her version became a massive hit, earning her a Grammy Award and becoming one of her most famous songs.

Impact on Pop Culture

The song has been covered by numerous artists, including Luther Vandross, Kenny G, and Cyndi Lauper. However, Aretha Franklin’s version remains the most well-known. It has been featured in movies, TV shows, and commercials, and continues to be a popular choice for romantic playlists. Its emotional delivery and relatable lyrics have made it a timeless classic.

Fun Facts about the Song

  • “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” was originally released as a B-side to Stevie Wonder’s single “My Cherie Amour.”
  • Aretha Franklin recorded a live version of the song for her album “Amazing Grace,” which was released in 1972.
  • In 2002, Rolling Stone ranked “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” number 99 on their list of “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

Conclusion

Aretha Franklin’s impact on music is immeasurable, and her legacy continues to live on through her timeless songs. The top 10 famous Aretha Franklin songs mentioned in this blog post are just a small representation of her extensive discography.

Her powerful voice, soulful delivery, and undeniable talent will forever be remembered and celebrated by fans all around the world. So if you haven’t already, make sure to listen to these iconic songs and experience the magic of the “Queen of Soul” for yourself.

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