Our second foray into the world’s greatest soul singers features the ladies. These divas who help fashion this remarkable genre of music are now legendary across the world, but when they first started in their careers they were far from household names.
Where better to start than “The Queen of Soul” as her title is bestowed on her. In 2017, Aretha Franklin announced to the world she was retiring from the stage after 61 years of a glittering career. Aretha’s powerful voice made her a fans favourite, and whilst she could “sing from the church” on songs like, “Respect”, “Think” and “Jump To It” Aretha also had the voice of an angel when she wanted it. Listen to “Ain’t No Way”, “Natural Woman”, and “Until You Come Back To Me” and see if you disagree.
Diana Ross was instrumental in forming the first “Girl Band” the Supremes in the 1960’s. Their runaway success had a string of hits, “Come See About Me”, “You Can’t Hurry Love”, and “Stoned Love”. But Diana Ross will probably be best remembered for her solo career, her stunning vocals and stupendous looks took her from screen to stage in a glittering career. Songs, like “Touch Me In The Morning”, and “Do You Know Where You’re Going To” will forever remind her fans of just how good Diana Ross was. Diana still records and is regularly seen touring.
Most people recognise Tina Turner as the raunchy, scantily clad diva who struts around the stage belting out one hit after another. The charismatic feather cut hair style is as much her trademark as her tight leopard dresses. However, Tina Turner has a musical pedigree second to none. The early days of singing with Ike Turner produced smash hits, like “A Fool In Love” and “River Deep-Mountain High”. After an acrimonious divorce Tina set out on a long solo career that is still going strong, “Let’s Stay Together”, “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and the bond theme “Golden Eye” are just some of her hits.
Gladys Knight started life singing with her siblings and were named “The Pips”, and by the time the group had made a name for themselves they were on the Motown label called “Gladys Knight & The Pips”. Their music became so popular that a string of hits followed, “Midnight Train To Georgia”, “Neither One Of Us”, “Best Thing That Ever Happened” and “The Way We Were”. Gladys still records today, and her music crosses over into many genres, her distinctive vocals make it extremely hard for anybody to copy her and she fully deserves to be in this hall of fame.
These ladies of soul, took the world and shook it with their music. Some of them still record today and for the others their music is their legacy. Many of today’s recording artists have been influenced by one or more of them and the music scene in general is in a far better place because of what they have contributed.