The cover art for her 1986 album, *Aretha,* designed by Andy Warhol.
Photo: Andy Warhol

Remembering Aretha Franklin and the Art She Inspired

The late queen of soul was often a muse for great artists like Andy Warhol

Music icon and Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin died this morning at her home in Detroit after battling pancreatic cancer.

During a career that spanned over half a century, Franklin won 18 Grammy awards, including the honor for best female R&B performance eight years in a row. She recorded hits like “Respect,” “Do Right Woman—Do Right Man,” “Think,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” and “Chain of Fools.” When she covered even the most well-known songs, she made them feel special and singular.

Recommended: Revisiting Richard Avedon and James Baldwin’s Groundbreaking 1964 Collaboration

A figure of fascination and inspiration to many, she was often a muse for some of the world’s great artists. Here, we take a look at a few of those stunning images.

Jerry Schatzberg 

A dramatic photograph of the late singer taken by the legendary fashion photographer Jerry Schatzberg in 1967. Photo: Jerry Schatzberg/ClampArt

Andy Warhol

Franklin’s s third LP of this name, and the home to her first #1 pop single since ‘Respect,’ the vinyl cover features a silkscreen designed by Andy Warhol and is said to be the pop artist’s final work before his death the following year. Photo: Andy Warhol/MoMA

Richard Avedon

An arresting photograph by the American fashion and portrait photographer Richard Avedon captures Franklin’s vibrant spirit. It was taken on October 14, 1968, in New York. Photo: Richard Avedon / © the Richard Avedon Foundation

Ananda Nahu

A striking work from 2011 by the Brazilian graffiti artist Ananda Nahu depicts a young Franklin. Photo: Ananda Nahu

Milton Glaser

A poster of Aretha Franklin at age 26, rendered by graphic designer Milton Glaser and originally featured in Eye magazine. The artwork will be on view at the National Portrait Gallery from August 17 through 22, 2018. Photo: National Portrait Gallery, © Milton Glaser

David Gahr

A portrait of the singer by David Gahr, who also shot intimate images of Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Miles Davis, and B.B. King. Photo: David Gahr/Staley-Wise Gallery

Andy Warhol

This 1986 text-based work by Andy Warhol comprises nine individual works on paper, each in the artist’s own hand, spelling out the name ‘Aretha’ in black marker and graphite. It’s currently available from Artifical Gallery in Antwerp. Photo: Andy Warhol/Artificial Gallery
Cover: The cover art for her 1986 album, *Aretha,* designed by Andy Warhol.
Photo: Andy Warhol


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