Respect - The Life of Aretha Franklin

Author(s): David Ritz

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The definitive biography of the Queen of Soul from acclaimed music writer David Ritz.


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 has evolved ever since, amidst personal tragedy, surprise Grammy performances, and career reinventions.


Again and again, Aretha stubbornly finds a way to triumph over troubles, even as they continue to build. Her hold on the crown is tenacious, and in RESPECT, David Ritz gives us the definitive life of one of the greatest talents in all American culture.


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A remarkably complex portrait of Aretha Franklin's music and her tumultuous life. Rolling Stone

An honest and genuinely respectful portrait of a true diva by a writer who feels the power of her art. Kirkus Reviews 

Only someone who had the complete confidence and trust of Aretha's family and the elite of the Gospel and Rhythm and Blues communities could have gotten this story. An intimate and thorough account of this phenomenal woman's talent and life as only David Ritz could capture. Tommy LiPuma, Grammy-winning producer

David Ritz is a Grammy Award winner and the only four-time winner of the Gleason Music Book Award. He won the 2013 ASCAP Timothy White Award for outstanding musical biography for When I Left Home, written with Buddy Guy. He has collaborated with Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, B.B. King, Etta James, and Smokey Robinson. Ritz lives in Los Angeles with his wife.

General Fields

  • : 9780316196819
  • : Little Brown & Company
  • : Back Bay Books
  • : 0.480808
  • : October 2015
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : David Ritz
  • : Paperback
  • : 528