And while probably everybody has heard the catchy tune at least once or twice, fewer are familiar with its origins. The song was far from a feminist anthem before Aretha.
In fact, “Respect” started out as a song celebrating traditional family values and structures in its original form. Penned by Otis Redding, that version spoke of how a man works all day, supporting his family, so his wife must respect him in the home.
But as Redding would later admit, once Aretha took on the song and reworked it, it became a different creature altogether – the song now placed both man and woman on equal footing.
3.She got pregnant at the age of 12.
Aretha was a mother of four sons, so her journey as a mother can’t be questioned . She first became pregnant at the age of 12, and gave birth to her first child, named Clarence after her father, in 1955. The father of the child was Donald Burk, a boy she knew from school.
In 1957, aged 14, she had a second child named Edward after his father Edward Jordan. While Aretha was pursuing her career, her grandmother Rachel and sister Erma took turns raising the children.
Her third child, Ted White, Jr, was born in 1964 and is known professionally as Teddy Richards. Her youngest son, Kecalf Cunningham, was born in 1970 is the child of her road manager Ken Cunningham.