Editor's Note: Earlier today, Aretha Franklin passed away in her home at the age of 76. In honour of her passing, we are sharing the empowering story behind her greatest hit.
When you think of Aretha Franklin, you think of her belting out the word "respect" letter by letter. Franklin's quintessential song is sung from the perspective of a woman who feels confident and self-assured in what she has to offer her partner. It's bold. It's strong. It's the anthem we should all sing when we need to feel a boost of confidence.
Fifty years ago today, "Respect" topped the Billboard charts, and emblazoned itself onto the public consciousness. In honour of this anniversary, here's the story of how Aretha Franklin turned "Respect" into one of the most influential songs of all time.