Aretha Franklin celebrates her birthday today (March 25), and with a career as groundbreaking as her voice is beautiful, it shouldn’t be shocking that she was the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Queen of Soul was inducted into the Rock Hall in 1987, the second year of its existence, and she was inducted alongside such giants as Muddy Waters, Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson. While Franklin couldn’t make the induction ceremony, she was inducted by Keith Richards with Clive Davis and her brother, Cecil, accepting her award on her behalf.
Fortunately, Franklin didn’t remain a stranger when it came to future Rock Hall events. She notably performed at the 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert and even brought out fellow vocal giant Annie Lennox for “Chain of Fools.”
It goes without saying, but long live the Queen.
Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger who once did a presentation in a college public speaking course about why The Rolling Stones were better than The Beatles. (She received an A.)