The 22 Best Aretha Franklin Quotes

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Aretha Franklin is widely understood to be the best singer… ever.

The soul artist, who was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1942 and died in Detroit in 2018, has displayed her voice on a number of hit songs throughout her illustrious career. Songs like “Respect,” “Chain of Fools” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” to name just three.

But what about those things that Franklin said outside of song? That’s the subject of this little article right here. In this piece, we wanted to explore Franklin’s most memorable and insightful quotes.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into Aretha Franklin’s 22 Best Quotes of all time.

1. “We all require and want respect, man or woman, black or white. It’s our basic human right.”

2. “Be your own artist, and always be confident in what you’re doing. If you’re not going to be confident, you might as well not be doing it.”

3. “Sometimes, what you’re looking for is already there.”

4. “You cannot define a person on just one thing. You can’t just forget all these wonderful and good things that a person has done because one thing didn’t come off the way you thought it should come off.”

5. “Being the Queen is not all about singing, and being a diva is not all about singing. It has much to do with your service to people. And your social contributions to your community and your civic contributions as well.”

6. “Music does a lot of things for a lot of people. It’s transporting, for sure. It can take you right back, years back, to the very moment certain things happened in your life. It’s uplifting, it’s encouraging, it’s strengthening.”

7. “I think it would be a far greater world if people were kinder and more respectful to each other.”

8. “Falling out of love is like losing weight. It’s a lot easier putting it on than taking it off.”

9. “People really don’t have to give you anything, so appreciate what people give you.”

10. “The man who gets me is getting one hell of a woman.”

11. “It’s hard. When you love food, and when you’ve done a high-energy concert, you know, a carrot is not gonna work.”

12. “Music changes, and I’m gonna change right along with it.”

13. “I’ve never recorded anything I didn’t like.”

14. “I’ve always felt that rock and roll was very, very wholesome.”

15. “I am doing what I love to do, and you cannot beat that, especially when the audience appreciates what you prepare for them. It’s very, very gratifying.”

16. “If a song’s about something I’ve experienced or that could’ve happened to me it’s good. But if it’s alien to me, I couldn’t lend anything to it. Because that’s what soul is all about.”

17. “I sing to the realists. People who accept it like it is.”

18. “I think women and children and older people are the three least-respected groups in our society.”

19. “It really is an honor if I can be inspirational to a younger singer or person. It means I’ve done my job.”

20. “I’ve been around long enough for people to know who I am and what my contributions are. They know me as more than just an artist. I think they know me as a woman as well.”

21. “Being a singer is a natural gift. It means I’m using to the highest degree possible the gift that God gave me to use. I’m happy with that.”

22. “We didn’t have music videos. You weren’t an overnight sensation. You had to work at it and learn your craft: how to take care of your voice, how to pace your concerts, all that trial and error.”

Check out Aretha’s greatest hits on Amazon HERE.

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