Aretha Franklin Was the First Woman to Be Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Back in 1987

Follow the journey of Aretha Franklin to becoming the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

There is a mixed range of rock and roll artists, and not all of them get the recognition they deserve, especially the women who have dedicated themselves to this genre.

However, there is one woman who stood out and was able to get her foot in the door as the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This is none other than the phenomenal Aretha Franklin.

Aretha Franklin performing t the Elton John AIDS Foundation Commemorates Its 25th Year at the Cathedral of St. John in New York on November 7, 2017. | Photo: Getty Images

Aretha Franklin performing t the Elton John AIDS Foundation Commemorates Its 25th Year at the Cathedral of St. John in New York on November 7, 2017. | Photo: Getty Images

Aretha was the first woman to be inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame in 1987. The singer was also the first African American woman to be inducted following the early induction that took place in 1986.

Although Aretha declined the invite, the induction still went down in history as an iconic one. This could be because the Queen of Soul was inducted by none other than The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards with an intriguing speech.

Keith, while giving his speech, presented the award to Aretha's brother, The Reverend Cecil Franklin, and record executive Clive Davis, who accepted it on the singer's behalf.

Aretha Franklin wearing the iconic pillbox hat with a giant bow during her performance at President Barack Obama's 2009 Inauguration. | Photo: Getty Images

Aretha Franklin wearing the iconic pillbox hat with a giant bow during her performance at President Barack Obama's 2009 Inauguration. | Photo: Getty Images

Cecil Franklin even performed an impromptu victory dance with Keith after receiving the award on his sister's behalf.

The list of female solo performers inducted alongside her is miserly.

Asides from her induction into the Rock and Roll hall of fame, Aretha received numerous honors throughout her career. She was awarded the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Musician Aretha Franklin attends the opening of the Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Atrium at Jazz at Lincoln Center on December 17, 2015 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

Musician Aretha Franklin attends the opening of the Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Atrium at Jazz at Lincoln Center on December 17, 2015 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

Aretha Franklin also was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012. 

Following her death in 2018, The Pulitzer Prize jury in 2019 awarded Aretha a posthumous extraordinary citation "for her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades."

Singer Aretha Franklin attends the 102nd White House Correspondents' Association Dinner on April 30, 2016 in Washington, DC. | Photo: Getty Images

Singer Aretha Franklin attends the 102nd White House Correspondents' Association Dinner on April 30, 2016 in Washington, DC. | Photo: Getty Images

Aretha Franklin, who began performing on the Midwest gospel music circuit as a kid and made her first recording when she was only 14, reached greater heights when she signed with Atlantic in 1967.

The "Chain of Fools" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" singer become an African-American icon during the era when there were intense battles over civil rights for minorities and women.

Singer Aretha Franklin attends the "Selma" New York Premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on December 14, 2014 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

Singer Aretha Franklin attends the "Selma" New York Premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on December 14, 2014 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

Since Aretha Franklin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 33 years ago, the list of female solo performers inducted alongside her is miserly. 

Some other inductees include members of Motown royalty, like Diana Ross, The Supremes, and Martha and the Vandellas, among others.

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