The Secret History Of Aretha Franklin's "Respect"

Editor's Note: Earlier today, Aretha Franklin passed away in her home at the age of 76. In honor of her passing, we are re-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.
But "Respect" wasn't always the feminist song we now recognize it to be. In fact, the song wasn't initially Franklin's. "Respect" was written by R & B singer Otis Redding. When the same lyrics in "Respect" are sung from a man's perspective, trust us — the song takes on a whole new meaning.
Fifty years ago today, "Respect" topped the Billboard charts, and emblazoned itself onto the public consciousness. In honor of this anniversary, here's the story of how Aretha Franklin turned "Respect" into one of the most influential songs of all time.
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