Aretha Louise Franklin (born March 25, 1942) is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Although known for her soul recordings and referred to as The Queen of Soul, Franklin is adept at jazz, blues, R&B, and gospel music. Rolling Stone magazine ranked her atop its list of The Greatest Singers of All Time
Franklin is one of the most honored artists by the Grammy Awards, with 18 competitive Grammys and two honorary Grammys. She has 20 #1 singles on the Billboard R&B Singles Chart and two #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100: "Respect" (1967) and "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (1987), a duet with George Michael. Since 1961, she has scored a total of 45 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. She also has the most million-selling singles of any female artist (14). Between 1967 and 1982 she had 10 #1 R&B albums---more than any other female artist.
In 1987, Franklin became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She was the only featured singer at the 2009 presidential inauguration of Barack Obama.