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Download Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin, by David Ritz Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Ritz Narrator: Brad Raymond Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The definitive biography of the “Queen of Soul” from acclaimed music writer David Ritz

Aretha Franklin began life as the golden daughter of a progressive and promiscuous Baptist preacher. Raised without her mother, she was a gospel prodigy who gave birth to two sons in her teens and left them and her native Detroit for New York, where she struggled to find her true voice. It was not until 1967, when a white Jewish producer insisted she return to her gospel-soul roots that fame and fortune finally came via the song “Respect” and a rapid-fire string of hits. She has evolved ever since, amidst personal tragedy, surprise Grammy performances, and career reinventions.

Again and again, Aretha stubbornly finds a way to triumph over troubles, even as they continue to build. Her hold on the crown is tenacious, and in Respect, David Ritz gives us the definitive life of one of the greatest talents in American culture.

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Quotes & Awards

  • "Respect judiciously captures the conflicted life of the legendary Queen of Soul.”


  • “A candid, far less sanitized look at the enormously gifted but demanding diva.”


  • “‘Ain’t no harm to moan,’ belted out fifteen-year-old Aretha Franklin to an adoring crowd. What few know is that, at the time, she was pregnant with her second child. What else don’t you know? Find out in this revealing biography.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “It’s a comprehensive, illuminating, and unfailingly solicitous account of a life that, whatever its tribulations, conflicts, and complications, has always somehow been redeemed by Franklin’s musical calling….[Ritz has] an exceptional capacity to listen with care and sympathy to what people tell him and then render their words vividly and compassionately.”

    USA Today

  • "[Ritz’s] research—based on interviews with Franklin’s siblings and departed legends from Ahmet Ertegun to Vandross—is solid, and he vividly expresses what made her voice and albums so monumental in the sixties.”

    Rolling Stone

  • "Respect will stand as one of Ritz’s greatest and most unusual achievements: a rich, definitive portrait set in motion by a bit of unfinished business.”

    New York Times

  • "Respect is a major biography and unauthorized in the extreme. Ritz has done well to recount the life as a whole.”

    Barnes&Noble.com, editorial review

  • “The most comprehensive and accurate account of Franklin yet published.”

    Maclean’s (Toronto)

  • “An honest and genuinely respectful portrait of a true diva by a writer who feels the power of her art.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Narrator Brad Raymond does a great job of portraying the relatives and friends in her life who helped her succeed. Raymond’s cadence and inflections change as he switches from Cecil, her brother, to Carolyn and Erma, her sisters, as well as Ruth Bowen, her first manager. Aretha was a child prodigy…Raymond also captures her father, a strong, vibrant man who demanded much of Aretha. As narrator, Raymond takes the listener through every stage of Aretha’s triumphs and tragedies. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014
  • An Oprah Pick of Ten Titles to Pick Up Now, December 2014
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
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About the Narrator

Brad Raymond is a narrator of audiobooks known for his Earphones Award–winning reading of Respect, the biography of Aretha Franklin by David Ritz, among others.