Happy Birthday, Aretha Franklin! Revisit Her Five Biggest Songs of All Time

The Queen of Soul has some surprises on the chart
By , Audacy

For forty years, Aretha Franklin was the reigning Queen of the charts. Her seventy-three Hot 100 entries and her seventeen top ten hits were unmatched until music streaming changed the game. She has sold over seventy-five million records worldwide and has won a total of eighteen GRAMMYs. The woman was a force, and was honored in 1987 with her induction into the Rock And Rock Hall Of Fame.

With so many hits to her name, her biggest might surprise you. Did you know that her version of “Spanish Harlem” was a bigger hit than “Think”? Or that “Freeway Of Love” never reached the heights of her duet with George Michael?

Take a look at Aretha Franklin’s five biggest songs of all time.

5. Until You Come Back To Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)

Originally recorded by Stevie Wonder, it was Franklin’s 1973 version of “Until You Come Back To Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” that was a hit on the charts. The song hit number one on the R&B chart and landed at number three on the Hot 100 in 1974.

4. Chain Of Fools

In January of 1968, “Chain of Fools” peaked at number two for Aretha, hitting number one on the R&B chart along the way. Originally a demo for Otis Redding, the song found its way to Franklin. “Chain Of Fools” also went on to win the GRAMMY Award that year for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

3. Spanish Harlem

Another classic case of Aretha Franklin taking a cover to new heights. “Spanish Harlem” was originally recorded by Ben E. King and did very well. However, it never had the success with King as it did with the Queen of Soul. Aretha’s version of the song hit number one on the R&B chart and spent two weeks at number two on the Hot 100 in 1971.

2. I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)

The GRAMMY Award-winning “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” is Aretha Franklin’s impressive duet with George Michael. The song gave Michael a chance to work with one of his favorite artists, and gave Franklin her first and only UK number one hit. The song hit number one in the states in April of 1987.

1. Respect

Aretha Franklin’s other number one song is her signature song, “Respect”. Otis Redding peaked at number thirty-five with “Respect” in the summer of 1965, but it was Aretha’s version that became legendary. The feminist anthem won two GRAMMY Awards and hit number one on the Hot 100 in 1967. The Recording Industry Of America named it one of the “Songs Of The Century”, but more importantly, it’s the song that made Aretha Franklin an international star.

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