Summer 1967: Aretha Franklin Shakes the Nation with "Respect"

Aretha Franklin
Photo Credit
Paul Natkin/Getty Images

 

Aretha Franklin, "Respect"

Franklin's anthemic cover of Otis Redding's 1965 "Respect" became the emblem of the civil rights movement, a fiery force in the feminist movement and another unstoppable No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Civil Rights Movement was burning and Franklin's rapidfire vocal riffs scorched "R-e-s-p-e-c-t" into everyone's minds. 

READ MORE: A Natural Woman: Aretha Franklin's Greatest Hits

ON THE SONG'S INSPIRATION: 

In her 1999 autobiography, Franklin recalled on how she intended "Respect" to connect with anyone who felt belittled or unappreciated. 

"It [reflected] the need of a nation, the need of the average man and woman in the street, the businessman, the mother, the fireman, the teacher — everyone wanted respect," she said. "It was also one of the battle cries of the civil rights movement. The song took on monumental significance."

KEY LYRIC: "R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me/ R-E-S-P-E-C-T, take care, TCB, oh"

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