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I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You

Aretha Franklin


The Queen of Soul gets the R-E-S-P-E-C-T she deserves.

When Aretha Franklin made the decision to pursue a career in secular music after getting her start singing gospel, she knew she wanted to be a crossover artist. She even took the step of signing with Columbia Records’ John Hammond, the guru who’d discovered Bob Dylan—and who would later sign Bruce Springsteen.

Franklin would release nine albums with Columbia before moving to Atlantic Records and working with producer Jerry Wexler, the legendary record man who, alongside his partner Ahmet Ertegun, signed and recorded the greatest R&B artists of the 1950s and 1960s. The first record in this partnership, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, opens with Aretha’s signature, definitive take on Otis Redding’s “Respect”—a version so dynamic, Redding had no choice but to acknowledge its superiority.

“What I love about [‘Respect’] is it’s not just saying, ‘Give me respect.’ It’s demanding respect…She was unapologetically the Queen.”

Nicki Minaj

This would turn out to be the right sound for the right artist at the right time with the right songs, many of which she had co-written—including “Dr. Feelgood,” “Baby, Baby, Baby,” and “Don’t Let Me Lose This Dream.” After years in the music industry, Franklin finally had her first smash hit, and an otherworldly singer became the Queen of Soul.