This Is What Aretha Franklin's Final Public Performance Looked Like

Today, the music world lost an iconic voice. Aretha Franklin passed away this morning, surrounded by family, after a long battle with cancer. She was 76 years old.

Franklin was born in 1942 in Memphis but grew up in Detroit, where she began singing gospel at her church. In her decades-long career, she released hits like “Respect,” won 18 Grammys, sold 75 million records worldwide, and was named the Queen of Soul. Here, we’re taking a look back at her incredible life in photos.

At 18 years old, posing for a portrait.

A seated portrait, capturing her engagement ring.

A candid photo with a beehive hairdo.

Singing on stage.

During an appearance on The Andy Williams Show.

Posing for a portrait in an aqua feather coat.

Posing for a portrait at 25 years old.

Posing for a portrait in a glittery ensemble.

Posing for a portrait wearing a textured dress and earrings.

Posing in a bold orange dress.

On stage during a performance.

Modeling for a portrait.

Wearing all white during a performance.

Singing her heart out during a performance.

On stage at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Performing on The Jonathan Winters Show.

At the Martin Luther King Jr. Benefit Concert at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Preparing to go on stage at Symphony Hall in New Jersey.

Recording “The Weight” at Atlantic Records studios.

Decked out in feathers during a performance.

At the Grammy Awards, where she won Best Female R&B Performance for her hit song, “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

Posing on a couch during a photoshoot.

Dancing during a portrait session.

Dancing during a portrait session.

Sporting bright orange during a performance on a TV show in London.

Walking down the aisle with Glynn Russell Turman during their wedding.

During a performance.

Performing at the New Victoria Theatre in London.

On stage at the Chicago Theater in Chicago, Illinois.

Signing at Radio City Music Hall in New York.


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