The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, has passed away, leaving behind a musical legacy as powerful as her signature voice.
From her first JET feature in 1967 to date, we’ve supported the legendary multitalented musician while discussing topics including music, body confidence, her various romances and much more. Franklin graced four EBONY covers and a whopping 26 JET covers over the course of her career, opening up to fans within its pages for over 40 years.
Today, EBONY celebrates the Detroit diva with 20 of her best JET and EBONY magazine covers. Check them out below.
- In February 1967, the song “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” was released and hit No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It became Franklin’s first Top 10 pop single.
- The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s 19th studio album, Spirit in the Dark, was released on Atlantic Records in August.
- In March, “Sister Superstar” became the first R&B performer to headline Fillmore West, the historic rock ‘n’ roll venue in San Francisco.
- Franklin was one of the musicians present at the 1971 Black Expo, which was organized by Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity), founded by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson.
- Let Me in Your Life, the 22nd studio album from the Queen of Soul, was released in February.
- The Grammy winner took home her 10th award, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing.”
- Franklin worked with Curtis Mayfield on the soundtrack for Sparkle, the film starring Irene Cara.
- The musical icon’s ballad “Something He Can Feel,” was released in May and became a No. 1 hit on the R&B singles chart.
- Franklin married her second husband, actor Glynn Turman.
- In September, Aretha, the soulful singer’s 29th studio album, was released.
- Love All the Hurt Away, Franklin’s 1981 release, received critical acclaim and earned the diva her 11th Grammy for Sam & Dave cover, “Hold On, I’m Coming.”
- Franklin earned her first platinum certification for 1985’s Who’s Zoomin’ Who?.
- Franklin graced her 1987 JET cover with “forever friend” William “Willie” Wilkerson. The pair remained close for years, and for a while in early 2012, they were engaged.
- The Queen commanded the attention of all at the 1992 Democratic National Convention with her soulful rendition of the national anthem.
- Franklin performed at a benefit for New York City’s Presbyterian Hospital’s Sloane Hospital for Women.
- This 1996 JET cover story found the songstress discussing her influence and impact after 30 years in the industry.
- In 1999, the extraordinary musician became an author and sat down with JET to discuss her autobiography, Aretha: From These Roots.
- Her 2003 album, So Damn Happy, earned the legend another Grammy win for the single “Wonderful.”
- The Queen opened up about her struggles with weight in her 2007 JET cover story.
- Franklin’s final JET cover found the R&B superstar reflecting on her career and preparing to enter a “new chapter” in her life.
Rest in peace, Aretha.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.