Becoming the Queen of Soul was hard work for Aretha Franklin. Pregnancy derailed her gospel career before she reached her midteens, and a six-year stint in jazz-pop followed with little fanfare. Then, with the help of producer Jerry Wexler and Atlantic Records, her successful soul persona emerged with R&B hits like "Respect," "Chain of Fools," and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" pouring out of her in the late '60s. After a hard fall from favor during the heyday of disco, she made a resurgence guided by Luther Vandross. Pairings with the likes of George Benson, George Michael, and the Eurythmics bring us up to the present. And don't forget the stirring version of "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" she sang during President Obama's inauguration last year. Even if Franklin doesn't wear that same fabulous bow-enhanced hat when she returns to Hard Rock Live on Tuesday, the show should be a spectacle both to see and hear.
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