The decision surrounding Aretha Franklin’s will has been decided. It took a jury in a Michigan court less than an hour to state that the will found in a couch cushion in 2014 is her rightful last will and testament. That makes her youngest son, Kecalf Franklin, who had partnered with her second son Edward Franklin in the case, co-executor of her estate, according to the found four-page document.
The two Franklin brothers were contesting Ted White II, Franklin’s third son, who claimed that a will found in a cabinet in the singer's Detroit mansion named him as her executor in 2010. Franklin’s eldest son, Clarence Franklin, was not involved in the dispute. Reports state that the late singer had actually recorded three voicemail messages stipulating changes to her will just months before her death; those were not included in this case.
Kecalf is now in control of the legendary singer's fortune, which includes her Detroit estate worth $1.2 million and other assets, valued at around $6 million. Franklin recorded numerous chart-topping hits that have resonated with audiences around the world and helped her amass those millions.
Here are five of the “Queen of Soul’s” songs that have captivated listeners and scored on the Billboard charts.
"(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”
Released in 1967, this love ballad showcases Franklin’s incredible range and emotional depth. It reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a timeless anthem to be played at weddings around the globe. She would go on to win the Female R&B Vocal Performance and R&B Performance Grammy in 1968.
Quite possibly the greatest’s single of all time, "Respect" is one of Franklin’s top signature songs. Its powerful lyrics, which include spelling out its title, remain a symbol of empowerment for the generations. It was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1967 and enjoyed a resurgence on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop charts after her death.
“Chain of Fools”
Demanding some “R-E-S-P-E-C-T" means staying away from those who don’t know how to give it. That’s the message Franklin ponders in this 1967 bluesy R&B track. It’s Franklin raw and real, which is why it reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
There's a running theme with Franklin's songs of the sixties; many were all about how a man is supposed to treat a woman. This fast-paced ditty, in which Franklin bellowed for freedom, reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100, and the song quickly reached a million sales.
“Freeway of Love”
Don’t call it a comeback, just a whole new Aretha! In 1985, Aretha showed a whole new generation why she is the "Queen of Soul" with this upbeat pop-infused track that showcases her versatility as an artist. It topped the charts and earned her another Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.