Synopses & Reviews
A frank examination of Aretha Franklin, Mark Bego's definitive biography traces her career accomplishments from her beginnings as a twelve-year-old member of a church choir in the early 1950s, to recording her first album at the age of fourteen and signing a major recording contract at eighteen, right up through her headline-grabbing 2010 health scare. Originally positioned to become a gospel star in her father's Detroit church, Aretha had a privileged urban upbringing--stars such as Mahalia Jackson, Dinah Washington, and Sam Cooke regularly visited her father, Rev. C. L. Franklin. It wasn't long before she was creating a string of hits, from "Respect" to "Freeway of Love," and becoming one of the most beloved singers of the twentieth century.
This New York Times bestselling author's detailed research includes in-person interviews with record producers Jerry Wexler, Clyde Otis, and Clive Davis, Aretha's first husband, several of her singing star contemporaries, and a rare one-on-one session with Aretha herself. Every album, every accolade, and every heart-breaking personal drama is examined with clarity and neutrality, allowing Franklin's colorful story to unfold on its own. With two teenage pregnancies and an abusive first marriage, drinking problems, battles with her weight, the murder of her father, and tabloid wars, Aretha's life has been a roller coaster. This freshly updated and expanded biography will give readers a clear understanding of what made Aretha Franklin the "Queen of Soul."
"In this unauthorized biography, Bego (who has written books on Michael Jackson and Elton John, among many others) expands his previous books, published in 1989 and 2001, about dynamic vocalist Franklin. For this third book, Bego includes all of the earlier editions, adding 'over one dozen Aretha Franklin stories and two new chapters in order to bring the story all the way up to 2012.' Those 53 pages tacked on at the end are followed by a 'new and improved' reconstructed discography. Here are the highs (singing at the Clinton White House, being a 1994 Kennedy Center Honoree, winning 20 Grammy Awards, performing at Obama's inauguration) and the lows: teen pregnancies, her stormy first marriage, canceled engagements, lawsuits, drinking and weight problems, the fire at her .8 million home. Bego writes with enthusiasm and manages to juggle 'conflicting information,' but since Franklin prefers privacy, he's unable to get the inside information that would have captured the soul of this legendary soul singer." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"This definitive biography is a natural for music and pop culture collections." Library Journal
Aretha Franklin's soulful voice has earned her fifteen Grammies and the honor of being the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. An uncompromising survivor, Aretha has stirred millions with her classic hits, including, I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) and Respect. But she has also faced daunting personal challenges: her mother's desertion; teenage pregnancy; several unhappy marriages; and a tragic shooting that led to the death of her father. With unique access to key figures in Aretha's past, and a new chapter revealing the most recent events both personal and professional in the life of the diva, this is the definitive biography of the woman who captivated the music world of the early fifties and became a star.
A comprehensive biography of the life, successes, and mysteries of the "Queen of Soul."
About the Author
Mark Bego has been called "The Number One Bestselling Pop Biographer" by Publishers Weekly, and has been referred to in the press as "The Prince of Pop Music Bios." He is the author of fiftyeight published books on rock & roll and show business. With over ten million copies of his books in print, Mark Bego has written two New York Times bestselling books and a Chicago Tribune bestseller. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.