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Aretha Franklin never saw herself as a feminist heroine.The women's movement was just getting going in 1967 when Franklin took on Otis Redding's "Respect," which soon became known as an anthem both for civil rights and for feminism. Franklin changed the song's meaning, radically, just by singing it in her own, inimitable voice."Aretha was intersectional before the term existed".She notes that Franklin's version of "Respect" was the quintessential "answer record" to Redding's – in this case, with the very same song.To music writer Caryn Rose, Franklin's message in that song was deliberate. Franklin would later say she intended to convey a message about respect that was broader than any one movement.Franklin was, of course, the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1987, opening the door for other women.But to call her the greatest female singer is to ignore that in the view of so many she was the greatest singer, period. It was the rousing finale to a 2011 Franklin tribute at the Grammys, performed by Christina Aguilera, Florence Welch, Jennifer Hudson, Martina McBride and Yolanda Adams.
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