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Aretha Franklin Through the Years

In honor of the soul diva’s 70th birthday, we take a look back at her amazing career

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Charlie Gillett Collection/Redferns

Aretha Franklin signs to Atlantic Records as her manager Ted White and producer Jerry Wexler look on.

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Walter Iooss Jr./Getty Images

Madison Square Garden (1968)

Aretha Franklin performs at Madison Square Garden in New York on June 28th, 1968.

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Walter Iooss/Getty Images

Pre-Show Prep (1969)

Aretha Franklin applies her makeup before a concert at Symphony Hall in Newark, New Jersey.

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Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Queen of Soul’s Gold (1960s)

Aretha Franklin poses with three plaques celebrating her milestones in record sales in the late 1960s.

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Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Control Room, Playback (1969)

Aretha Franklin looks on from the back of the control room during the playbacks of "The Weight" sessions. Producers Jerry Wexler and Arif Mardin, engineer Tom Dowd and session guitarist Duane Allman are also in the New York studio on January 9th, 1969.

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Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

‘Soul ’69’ (1969)

Aretha Franklin reviews a copy of her album, Aretha Franklin – Soul '69, at Atlantic Records studios in New York in January 1969.

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Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Break Time (1969)

Aretha Franklin enjoys a hamburger while sitting at the piano in the Atlantic Records studio during "The Weight" recording session in New York on January 9th, 1969.

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Ron Howard/Redferns

‘Top of the Pops’ (c. 1970)

Aretha Franklin performs on Top of the Pops in the United Kingdom.

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Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Atlantic Press Photo (1973)

Aretha Franklin poses on a couch in this Atlantic Records press image.

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David Redfern/Redferns

‘We Love You Madly’ (1973)

Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughan, Roberta Flack and Aretha Franklin perform at the "We Love You Madly" Duke Ellington tribute in Hollywood.

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Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

17th Annual Grammy Awards (1975)

Aretha Franklin poses with her trophy at the 17th Annual Grammy Awards at the Uris Theater in New York.

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Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Fame and Fortune (c. 1980)

Aretha Franklin hangs out with former First Lady Jackie Kennedy and former NFL player Rosey Grier at an event.

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Catherine McGann/Getty Images

With Clive Davis (1989)

Aretha Franklin extends her hand to be kissed by producer and industry executive Clive Davis at a party in New York in July 1989.

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Cynthia Johnson/Liaison

Clinton Inauguration (1993)

Aretha Franklin stands with Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Diana Ross in front of the Lincoln Memorial during a pre-inauguration event for Bill Clinton in Washington, D.C., on January 17th, 1993.

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Catherine McGann/Getty Images

‘Aretha Franklin: Duets’ (1993)

Aretha Franklin hugs Smokey Robinson during a rehearsal for the Aretha Franklin: Duets concert at the Nederlander Theater in New York in April 1993.

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Catherine McGann/Getty Images

‘Duets’ Rehearsal (1993)

Aretha Franklin dances during a rehearsal for the Aretha Franklin: Duets concert at the Nederlander Theater in New York in April 1993.

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Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Clive Davis’ Pre-Grammy Party (2003)

Aretha Franklin and Alicia Keys perform during the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Party at the Regent Wall Street in New York on February 22nd, 2003.

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Kevin Mazur/WireImage for NFL

‘NFL Kickoff Live’ (2003)

Aretha Franklin performs in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., during the NFL Kickoff Live concert on September 4th, 2003.

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Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum Opening (1995)

Aretha Franklin and Al Green perform during the grand opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Scott Gries/Getty Images

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (2007)

Aretha Franklin performs with Paul Shaffer at the 22nd Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York on March 12th, 2007.

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Jason Squires/WireImage

MusiCares Person of the Year Ceremony (2008)

Aretha Franklin performs at the MusiCares Person of the Year ceremony in her honor at the Los Angeles Convention Center in February 2008.

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Michael Caulfield/WireImage

50th Annual Grammy Awards (2008)

Aretha Franklin and BeBe Winans perform during the pre-telecast for the 50th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 10th, 2008.