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The Queen

Aretha Franklin
Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo
Length: 3 hrs and 48 mins
2 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

You know her voice. Now hear her story. 

Audible has teamed up with Rolling Stone to produce an uncompromisingly honest Audible Original that honors the life and legacy of the incomparable Aretha Franklin. Aretha’s universal appeal was evident from the release of her first album at age 14 through her nearly 50 Top 40 hits. Yet this intimate biography reminds us that Aretha knew pain as much as she knew glory. It was the blues, residing deep within her soul, that gave way to a voice able to lift millions with a profound sense of freedom, self-worth, and undeniable talent to rise above sorrow. 

Aretha’s unshakeable foundation of faith - fueled by a childhood spent singing in church alongside her famous father, minister C.L. Franklin - allowed her to blend heartbreak with spirituality in soul-stirring song. By diving into the true story of Aretha - from the years following her mother’s passing to the moment she decided to become a singer - the listener can’t help but glimpse the roots of the sorrow behind her famous eyes.

©2018 Rolling Stone, LLC. (P)2018 Audible Originals, LLC.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Uninspiring

A functional but uninspiring read. It tells all the well worn anecdotes adequately, but quotes so widely from other biographies that I suspect little or no original research was put into this project.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-10-18

I learned so much

So much information - very well read and in order. Made me google her dad - her prior performances and more. Now I wish I had followed her even more while she was with us

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 29-10-18

I couldn't get through this. Father was a monster!

I was sickened by the description of her father as some sort of irreverent celebrity, with a few flaws. In reality, her was a pedophile who raped and impregnated a 12 year old girl while married. Aretha was pregnant at age 12, giving birth to a child named after her father. The fact that Aretha had to go through life with a controlling, pedophile father, with no hope of escape is heartbreaking. This bio speaks his name too many times. I couldn't get through it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Claudine
  • 28-10-18

A Big Swing and a Miss

This had so much potential but fell far short. First of all, being an audiobook, why was there no music? What a missed opportunity!! Then half of the story was just quoting other people's books. And finally, it was boring. It was like listening to a person read a magazine article out loud. Not to take anything away from the performance of the narrator, because she was fine, but she didnt have much to work with. This work felt like it was a job assignment that someone was forced to put together quickly.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • CEM
  • 12-10-18

Aretha The Queen needs to be heard!

This is a great biography, however it lacks the most important ingredient, Aretha’s actual singing. Short excerpts from each of her great works mentioned in this wonderful narrative will put this audio book on the #1 charts for the best book of the year. Aretha was a most exceptionally gifted individual.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Claudette P Evans
  • 30-10-18

She deserved a better biography.

Aretha gets the VH1 Behind the Music treatment in Milan Gilmore’s, The Queen. Obviously, three hours is insufficient time to capture a life, and though I didn’t hate this book, I didn’t love it either. The frequent mentions of the other biographies about the artist’s life made me long for those previous works. Glad this was a free member selection and not one I had to pay for.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • IreneMBBT
  • 06-10-18

Well done, Gilmore, Ojo, and Audible!

Very well done biography that is respectful but not idolatrous; insightful but not intrusive. This is an appreciation of a complex and hugely talented human being, and the crucible she was forged in.
Aretha has been in my musical playlist for the last 40 years. It hurts my heart that the next generations have not yet produced anyone near her caliber they can appreciate; or who can define and bless them.
Ojo’s narration is very well done.

20 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • Barbara
  • 18-12-18

More than you really wanted to know about AF

The author kind of skims along the facts of Aretha's early life, personality, rise to stardom and her apparent need to disparage other artists in order to stay there. Shocking facts slip by, un-commented on. For instance, AF had her first child at age 12, her second at age 14, and refused to name either father. Might she have been threatened into not telling? But, at this point, who are you going to ask? In that way, this biography seems to skim along the surface of Aretha's life and at the same time feels like more than you really wanted to know about The Queen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anne
  • 02-11-18

child abuse is not the same as infidelity

having a baby with a 12 year old is child abuse, not infidelity. i stopped listening because this description upset me so much

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • lerone
  • 14-10-18

Simply Aretha

the narrative in this book was excellent. The story was good with a surface history of the life of Aretha. Could have went into more detail but it was a good introduction of the history of her life without turning into a tabloid piece. Will listen to again.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-10-18

What a life!

I knew very little about Aretha Franklin prior to this, and WOW! What a life she had. Very much enjoyed this book and would recommend.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful