This "comprehensive and illuminating" biography of the Queen of Soul (USA Today) was hailed by Rolling Stone as "a remarkably complex portrait of Aretha Franklin's music and her tumultuous life." 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.
David Ritz is the only four-time winner of the Gleason Music Book Award and won the 2013 ASCAP Timothy White award for outstanding musical biography for his book with Buddy Guy. With Marvin Gaye, he also cowrote the song "Sexual Healing". He lives in Los Angeles with his wife.
What People are Saying About This
Like the great gospel choirs, Respect brings together a community of powerful voices in a tribute to the powers of music, the spirit, and, above all, Lady Soul. Crowning his life's work, David Ritz has achieved the near-impossible, taking us behind the many masks that Aretha has worn through one of the most complex musical lives of the 20th and 21st centuries. Everyone who loves gospel and soul has experienced moments when the only response is one of profound gratitude. When I finished Respect, that's what I felt. A towering achievement. --Craig Werner, author of Higher Ground: Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield and the Rise & Fall of American Soul