Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul music, has just passed away. She was 76 years-old, suffering from pancreatic cancer. Though she had a successful secular career in pop and R&B music, Franklin was also known for her faith and her love for gospel music.
Franklin spent a lot of time in church when she was younger since she was a ‘preacher’s kid’. Her dad was the minister at New Bethel Baptist Church, and that was where Franklin discovered her God-given gift for singing. Her faith was very important to Franklin so even as she began to gain fame as a singer, she maintained her gospel roots and never lost her faith.
Franklin recorded a best-selling gospel album, Amazing Grace, in 1972, which is among the five Aretha Franklin recordings featured in the Grammy Hall of Fame. The two-record set includes the classic John Newton hymn as well as What a Friend We Have in Jesus and God Will Take Care of You.
That same year, she sang Precious Lord, Take My Hand, at the funeral of revered gospel singer and civil rights activist Mahalia Jackson.
In 1987, the year she became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, she recorded One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, an album of sacred songs that won a Grammy for best soul performance.
Here are 5 of her best gospel songs:
1. O Happy Day
2. Amazing Grace
3. God will Take Care of You
4. Wholy Holy
5. Precious Lord, Take My Hand