Did Aretha Franklin and Martin Luther King Jr know each other?

LEGENDARY soul singer Aretha Franklin was heavily involved with the civil rights movement from her early years thanks to her father.

She has been described as the "unsung hero" of the civil rights era who "was about transforming the existence of black America,"

Did Aretha Franklin and Martin Luther King Jr know each other?

Aretha Franklin was surrounded by civil rights activists from a young age, having grown up in Detroit, Michigan in the early fifties.

She was raised by her father C.L. Franklin, a Baptist minister and a civil-rights activist that organized the 1963 Detroit Walk to Freedom.

Martin Luther King Jr., a friend of C.L. Franklin’s, delivered an early version of his “I Have a Dream” speech at the historic Detroit march.

The soul singer was a huge supporter of King from he early years. As a child, she sometimes sang with him on the gospel tours her father took her on.

As a result, she spent decades as a civil rights advocate whose work often began in churches.

"She was about getting Angela Davis out of jail," Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson noted to NPR.

"She was about working with Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. She was about transforming the existence of black America."

In an interview months after King’s assassination in 1968, Franklin found it hard to describe her emotions about the incident.

“I just can’t find words to express how I feel,” Franklin told a Canadian newspaper that year, calling King’s death “a great tragedy.”

What year did Aretha Franklin die?

Franklin died August 16, 2018, in her Detroit home at age 76.

The official cause of death was advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type.

The iconic singer's 8-hour funeral was held at at Detroit's Greater Grace Temple the same month, and featured guests like Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan who all came together to pay their respects.

Smokey Robinson and Franklin grew up around the corner from each other. "So now my longest friend has gone home," Robinson told the assembled mourners at the time before he sang "Really Gonna Miss You."

On the day of her funeral, The Detroit Free Press described her “resting inside a solid brass, gold-plated casket."

"She was wearing a red, lace-trimmed ruffled suit and crimson satin pumps. Embroidered in golden thread in the lining of the casket were the words ‘Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul.’”

Who was Aretha Franklin's last husband before she died?

Franklin wed her second husband, actor Glynn Turman, in 1978.

She became stepmother to Glynn's three children from a previous marriage.

Although Franklin had four children of her own, she and Glynn did not have any children together.

Glynn was a stage, TV and film actor known for playing Lew in Peyton Place.

He also appeared in season four of Fargo, The Wire, and How To Get Away with Murder.

The pair separated in 1982 after Franklin returned to Michigan from California, and they divorced in 1984.

Turman said the pair remained friends and often spoke on the phone.

He later revealed he also visited Franklin before her death in 2018.

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