Aretha Franklin’s Will Is Being Contested By Her Sons. Here Are 5 Songs That Made Her the “Queen of Soul”

Aretha Franklin’s children are in court battling it out over who is the true executor of her last will and testament. The legendary R&B singer, who had four sons, died in August 2018. The case is currently being argued in an Oakland County probate court.

Ted White II, Franklin’s third son, says that a will found in a cabinet in the singer’s Detroit mansion named him as her executor in 2010. Her youngest son, Kecalf Franklin, and second son Edward Franklin have declared that a will discovered in a notebook under a couch cushion named Kecalf as co-executor in March 2014, making it the most recent will. Franklin’s eldest son, Clarence Franklin, is not involved in the dispute. Reports state that the late singer had actually recorded three voicemail messages stipulating changes to her will just months before her death; those are not included in this case.  

The legendary singer, whose Detroit estate is worth $1.2 million, with all her asset valuing around $6 million, recorded numerous chart-topping hits that have resonated with audiences around the world. Here are five of the “Queen of Soul’s” songs that have captivated listeners and scored on the Billboard charts.

“(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”

Released in 1967,  this love ballad showcases Franklin’s incredible range and emotional depth. It reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a timeless anthem to be played at weddings around the globe. She would go on to win the Female R&B Vocal Performance and R&B Performance Grammy in 1968.


Quite possibly the greatest’s single of all time, “Respect” is one of Franklin’s top signature songs. Its powerful lyrics, which include spelling out its title, remain a symbol of empowerment for the generations. It was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1967 and enjoyed a resurgence on the  Hot R&B/Hip Hop charts after her death. 

“Chain of Fools”

Demanding some “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” means staying away from those who don’t know how to give it. That’s the message Franklin ponders in this 1967 bluesy R&B track. It’s Franklin raw and real, which is why it reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.


There’s a running theme with Franklin’s songs of the sixties; many were all about how a man is supposed to treat a woman. This fast-paced ditty, in which Franklin bellowed for freedom, reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100, and the song quickly reached a million sales.

“Freeway of Love” 

Don’t call it a comeback, just a whole new Aretha! In 1985, Aretha showed a whole new generation why she is the “Queen of Soul” with this upbeat pop-infused track that showcases her versatility as an artist. It topped the charts and earned her another Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.


The post Aretha Franklin’s Will Is Being Contested By Her Sons. Here Are 5 Songs That Made Her the “Queen of Soul” appeared first on Ebony.

Updated: July 11, 2023 — 6:02 pm