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Aretha Franklin sings Don’t Play That Song (You Lied) and I Say A Little Prayer in 1970

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Performing on BBC One in London on August 31, 1970, legendary ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin covers Ben E. King‘s Don’t Play That Song (You Lied). Written by Ahmet Ertegün and Betty Nelson, Franklin’s version “peaked at number 1 for five weeks on the R&B singles chart and number 11 on the pop chart.” Find it on Amazon and Spotify. From Vox:

Franklin’s 60-plus-year career was one of broken boundaries and broken records. She held the record for the most-charted female artist in Billboard history for nearly 40 years, with 73 titles in the Hot 100… Her first Hot 100 song, “Won’t Be Long,” debuted when Franklin was just 18 years old in 1961. She also racked up 18 Grammy Awards over the course of her career, and in 1987, she was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

And while Franklin is known for her work as a soul singer, her astonishing, powerful, intelligent voice — the voice that the state of Michigan declared to be a natural resource — can do almost anything…

“What distinguishes her is not merely the breadth of her catalogue or the cataract force of her vocal instrument,” wrote David Remnick in the New Yorker in 2016; “it’s her musical intelligence, her way of singing behind the beat, of spraying a wash of notes over a single word or syllable, of constructing, moment by moment, the emotional power of a three-minute song. ‘Respect’ is as precise an artifact as a Ming vase.”

Her appearance on The Cliff Richard Show, above, also included another cover—the classic I Say A Little Prayer (Amazon, Spotify). Watch it below:

Franklin died on August 16, 2018. Read more about her life, career, and voice, as well as her impact on America’s civil rights, counterculture and feminism movements, in her The New York Times obituary.

Next: Aretha Franklin sings Won’t Be Long in 1964.

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