Aretha Franklin died on Thursday at the age of 76 of pancreatic illness, leaving behind a famous musical legacy and civil rights movement – as well as a rumored worth in the millions. According to court documents obtained by TMZ on Tuesday, the Queen of Soul died intestate—that is, she died without a will. Intestate succession laws in Michigan, where Franklin was born and died, stipulate that the singer’s four children will receive an equal part of her estate. Clarence, 63, Edward, 61, Ted “Teddy” White, Jr., 54, and Kecalf, 48, are her sons.
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How wealthy was Aretha Franklin?
Aretha Franklin was an American singer, songwriter, and musician. She was called the “Queen of Soul,” and many people thought she was great. She was worth $80 million when she died in 2018. In that number, you can add up the value of her likeness, music catalog, and royalty stream, too.
When people think of Aretha, they think of her hit songs like “Respect” and “I Say a Little Prayer.” As of now, she is one of the best-selling artists of all time. She has sold more than 75 million albums around the world.
Aretha Franklin’s estate is still a problem.
Do you know how much money Aretha Franklin’s estate is worth? It’s said to be worth at least $18 million and up to $80 million (via The Detroit News). However, the singer’s longtime lawyer, David Bennett, said that she owed $8 million in taxes at the time of her death, which is not true.
At 76, Franklin died of pancreatic cancer on August 16, 2018. Her family couldn’t find a will, so they didn’t know what to do. Her four sons, on the other hand, though they would get the same share of the money. Franklin’s niece, Sabrina Owens, was chosen to be the executor of his will (via The New York Times).
In 2019, there was a surprise twist: Franklin’s home was found to have three unofficial handwritten documents that were written between 2010 and 2014. (via The New York Times). These documents, one of which is said to have been found under some couch cushions, are said to show how she wanted her assets to be distributed.
People are fighting over these new documents and whether or not they’re true, according to the Times. Apparently, a fourth will be said to be from 2018, which has been found, making things even more complicated. In August 2021, there will be a trial to see if the documents are true and if someone can get control of the estate and its assets.
Early Life Of Aretha Franklin:
Aretha Louise Franklin was born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee. Barbara (née Siggers) Franklin was a vocalist and pianist; Clarence LaVaughn “C. L.” Franklin was a Baptist clergyman and circuit preacher. She was born in Memphis, Tennessee, at 406 Lucy Avenue. Franklin grew up with numerous siblings; her parents had four children together in addition to children from their previous relationships. Franklin’s family relocated to Buffalo, New York, when she was three years old, before settling permanently in Detroit, Michigan. Her father assumed the pastorate of the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit.
Franklin’s parents had a tumultuous marriage, which was exacerbated by her father’s numerous infidelity, and they eventually divorced in 1948. Her mother relocated to Buffalo with Aretha’s half-brother, Vaughn, but continued to visit her other children in Detroit on a regular basis. However, she died in 1952 of a heart attack. Franklin and her siblings were thus raised by a number of neighborhood women, including their grandmother. Franklin attended Northern High School in Detroit until her sophomore year when she dropped out.
Aretha Franklin’s Career:
Franklin began singing at a young age at her father’s church, and when she was twelve years old, he began managing her. He took her on his “gospel caravan” trips, where she sang in various churches along the way, and he also assisted her in securing her first recording contract with J.V.B. Records. Her first song with J.V.B. Records, “Never Grow Old,” was issued in 1956, followed by several more singles and the album “Spirituals” the following year (1956). She continued to sing and perform gospel music and spent her summers in Chicago, where she was a regular on the gospel circuit. When she was sixteen years old, she even toured with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (she would later go on to sing at his funeral in 1968). Franklin, however, opted to pursue a career in pop music when she reached eighteen.
Franklin’s father assisted her in relocating to New York and also assisted her in producing the tape that landed her a record deal with Columbia Records in 1960. Her debut song for Columbia, “Today I Sing the Blues,” was released in September 1960 and finally reached the Top 10 of the Hot Rhythm & Blues Sellers chart. In January 1961, Franklin released her first secular album, “Aretha: With The Ray Bryant Combo.” The album’s lead track, “Won’t Be Long,” was her first to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. She continued to release albums with Columbia but struggled to achieve economic success during her tenure at the label. In November 1966, once her contract with them expired, she signed with Atlantic Records. “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You),” her first record with Atlantic, was a tremendous hit, peaking at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming her first top-ten pop single.
Today, Franklin is arguably best remembered for her chart-topping singles “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman,” “Chain of Fools,” “Ain’t No Way,” “Think,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and “I Say a Little Prayer,” among others. She was the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s first female inductee. Franklin received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1979 and a Kennedy Center Honors medal in 1994. She is the recipient of 18 Grammy Awards in a variety of musical genres, as well as two Honorary Grammy Awards. Numerous of her tracks have been charted in the Billboard “Top 40.” Twenty of her tracks have charted at the top of the Billboard R&B singles list. Additionally, she is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, with 75 million recordings sold worldwide.
Aretha Franklin’s Personal Life:
Franklin had four children. Franklin had her first two children, Clarence Franklin and Edward Derone Franklin, when she was thirteen and fifteen years old, respectively. They were raised in Michigan by her grandmother and sister Erma, and Franklin paid many visits to them. Ted White Jr., Franklin’s third child, was born in 1964 to Franklin and her then-husband, Theodore “Ted” White. Kecalf Cunningham, Franklin’s youngest child, was born in 1970 to Franklin and her road manager Ken Cunningham.
Franklin married twice throughout her life. In 1961, she married her first husband, Ted White. They divorced in 1969 after separating in 1968. Glynn Turman, an actor, was her second spouse. They married in 1978 before divorcing in 1984. She became engaged to her longtime companion Willie Wilkerson in 2012 (they had previously been engaged twice), however, she later called off the engagement.
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