How Aretha Franklin Blew The Doors Open To The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

They included all-girl groups like The Shirelles and the Ronettes.
The Shirelles, inducted 1996

The Shirelles, inducted 1996

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They include Franklin’s contemporaries, like Etta James.
Etta James, inducted 1993

Etta James, inducted 1993

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And Nina Simone, the Hall’s newest female inductee this year.
Nina Simone, inducted 2018

Nina Simone, inducted 2018

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    The day of Aretha’s passing, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame paid tribute to her impact, not only on the music world, but on their institution.
    “Lady Soul,” they wrote on Twitter. “The first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Aretha Franklin was an artist of passion, sophistication and command, whose recordings remained anthems that defined soul music. Long live the Queen.”
    Women who sang and worked alongside Frankling recalled a singular talent, who was as much a hero as she was a fellow performer.
    Bonnie Raitt, who was inducted in 2000, told CNN’s Jake Tapper Aretha was an “incredible inspiration.”
    “For me, I was about 16 or so when I first heard her,” Raitt said. “And those first two albums of hers…completely influenced my singing and my style as well as my feelings for what it was to be a woman…and learn about men and heartache and about resilience and respect.”
    Bonnie Raitt, inducted 2000.

    Bonnie Raitt, inducted 2000.

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    While Aretha’s triumphs set the stage for generations of black female artists, and female artists in general, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is still a narrow and overwhelmingly male mark of achievement. Of the more than 200 individual performers and groups currently in the Hall of Fame, only 37 are female performers or groups featuring female performers.

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