Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin – David Ritz
Our Branding Team Member Taylor provided some feedback on her latest audiobook listen, RESPECT The Life of Aretha Franklin. We thought this would be a perfect feature for Black History Month and are sure you will enjoy it just as much as she did.
Sit down and learn about the eventful life of The Queen of Soul.
Don’t have time to sit down and read? Find it on Audible.
Don’t forget to email your latest fave to firstname.lastname@example.org to have it featured in our monthly book club. :)
*This book is perfect for lovers of other biographies such as “Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Family Band” and “Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Year”
Aretha Franklin began life as the golden daughter of a progressive and promiscuous Baptist preacher. Raised without her mother, she was a gospel prodigy who gave birth to two sons in her teens and left them and her native Detroit for New York, where she struggled to find her true voice. It was not until 1967, when a white Jewish producer insisted she return to her gospel-soul roots, that fame and fortune finally came via “Respect” and a rapidfire string of hits. She continued to evolve for decades, amidst personal tragedy, surprise Grammy performances, and career reinventions.
Again and again, Aretha stubbornly found a way to triumph over troubles, even as they continued to build. Her hold on the crown was tenacious, and in Respect, David Ritz gives us the definitive life of one of the greatest talents in all American culture.
This book had been highlighted in the media for years and I had never gotten around to reading it. When I noticed that it was on Audible I just had to add it to my list and I am so glad I did. RESPECT hooks you from the introduction, and shows you The Queen of Soul from the perspective of those around her instead of the prim and proper way she wanted to be perceived. Rather than focusing on her raw talent and success the book discusses her challenges, her self esteem issues and her trouble with relationships both romantic and not, adding a level of humanity to the legend. When discussing how talented and exceptional Aretha was her family and peers discuss how she never believed the praise, even quoting “When Aretha looks in the mirror she sees a totally different woman than everyone else does.” a line that shook me to my core. To think a woman held at such esteem could feel insignificant was shocking. This book is very cut and dry and does not tiptoe around coarse language or discussing the tough issues. All in all the book was very well written and I would definitely recommend picking it up at your local bookstore or downloading it on Audible. It was honestly the fastest sixteen hours of my life.