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She Had Two Kids Before the Age of 14: 10 Things You May Not Know about Aretha Franklin

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by Thaii XP

You probably love the music of the great and amazing Aretha Franklin.  But what do you really know about this amazing woman?  She is a legend, no doubt, but her story is what makes her extraordinary.  We consider her to be a part of black history, since she is one of the greatest performers of all-time.

So, buckle your seat belt, for here are 10 things you may not know about the amazing Aretha Franklin:

  1. Aretha Franklin’s middle name is Louise. She was born on March 25, 1942.
  2. The first song that Aretha Franklin ever sang was “Jesus, Be a Fence Around Me” in her father’s church New Bethel.
  3. Aretha Franklin had her first child, Clarence, when she was 12 and her second child when she was 14, Edward. Her grandmother and sister helped to raise the boys while she focused on her music career.
  4. Whitney Houston often referred to Aretha Franklin as “Auntie Ree”.
  5. Aretha Franklin was the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
  6. Aretha Franklin performed “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” at the inaugural ceremony for President Barack Obama.
  7. In 1979, Aretha Franklin received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  8. Aretha recorded “Respect” in 1967, the song was originally performed by Otis Redding. It became her signature song and was later named the anthem of the civil rights and the feminist movement.
  9. Rolling Stone listed Aretha Franklin as number one on the list of the Greatest Singers of All Time.
  10. Early in her career, Aretha dealt with addictions to chain smoking and alcoholism. She quit smoking in 1992.

Now you know the rest of the story.  Sing on Aretha, we love you.



  1. robert l

    January 27, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    The only thing I can say is keep on keeping on.Your song RESPECT really meant a lot to me when I first heard it many years ago.Like I said,it’s not where you been,it’s where you’re goin.While this may not be standard English,you understand what I mean.We have all made bad choices in our life,but what we do for our future means so much more.

  2. Jacqueline

    January 27, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    I love know matter what!!!! Her past is just that her past. Those without sin cast the first stone.

  3. Justice

    January 27, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    She was the one throwing stones at Whitney and her Mother while Whitney laid dead in her coffin. She was even suppose to sing but bailed out with a sorry excuse after realizing Whitney’s Mom didn’t appreciate her statements she made in the media.

  4. Andrea

    January 27, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    What was the point of this article? It comes across as an underhanded attempt to defame her character. It is not why she went through, rather who she became that defines her. She made it in spite of. You go Ree-Ree ! Love you Queen.

  5. wanda

    January 27, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Wow…12 years old and pregnant..Have to give her credit for rising above it all, but I can’t help but wonder were the father(s) of both children the same age as Aretha or older? If older, I feel for Aretha, because while it may not have been looked upon as such, but by today’s standars it’s statutory rape.

    • Pharaoh

      January 27, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      and her DADDY should have pressed charges not only once,,but twice..

      • Keith

        January 28, 2014 at 4:00 am

        Her daddy had his own issues with minor girls and now I wonder…..nevermind

        • Leslie

          January 28, 2014 at 8:19 am

          Exactly Keith! Rev C. L. Franklin had issues of his own and should have protected Aretha more. He benefited from her success as much as anyone.

        • ericaf

          January 28, 2014 at 10:55 am

          Hmm. Questions that needs answers, maybe she’ll put it in a book

        • Larry

          January 29, 2014 at 8:29 pm

          Keith, you’ve got me thinking on your level now. Wow! Her mother dies when Aretha is only 10 and her father may not have properly adjusted to missing her presence, but here is Aretha reminding her father of how her mother looks and, well, things can happen… Wow! I sure would like to know who the child-abusing father is.

      • respect

        January 28, 2014 at 7:36 pm

        Not if the father is that first childs daddy. The first child also had birth defect or mental problems indicative of genetic issues. That has been the secret for many years.

  6. Ms L

    January 27, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    First and foremost you can not compare apples with oranges. Aretha sang songs of love, praise, dignity, strength and of the era. In the days of yester year, many children were born to young girls, fathered by fathers, cousin, uncles, etc. and swept under the rug. Aretha arose from the negative and became the queen of music.
    Earlier I mentioned apples and oranges, Beyoncé is good, Aretha better as she of the paved the way for ladies of today to benefit

    • Isis

      January 27, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      It was not RIGHT then for a 12yr. old girl to be taken ADVANTAGE of then, just like it’s not right now, & esp. by family members. Her parents should have been protecting her.

  7. Pharaoh

    January 27, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    If I’m not mistaken, Aretha Louise Franklin gave birth to all four sons from the age of 13 to 20 years of about a FAST little girl all up in her daddy’s is what it is.

    • Devon

      January 28, 2014 at 2:21 am

      You are on point, Aretha was doing the same thing these little fas’ azz girls are doing today, screwing and pushing out babies, different time, same old nasty mess. Plus she’s not a nice person, looking like a old hound dog in the face and her Droopy the dog azz wearing spaghetti strap dresses with her boobs hanging down to her kneecaps, UGH!!!!!

      • jules

        February 9, 2014 at 12:51 pm

        WoW, Devon, you really gave me, my laugh for today. She does have mean tendencies. I gotta give her credit thoo, cause she really made it in spite. It just seems kinda hypocritical being in church and the Rev. is her dad.
        And if she were raped, I don’t know why charges weren’t filed.
        There’s a lot of skeletons in this closet.

  8. MsBossie

    January 27, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    What is the point of this article…… somebody had nothing uptodate to speak about THE QUEEN OF SOUL…….it shows how people are still living in the past. I don’t find this old information interesting.

  9. Raee

    January 27, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Tragic…two children by the age 14. Never knew Aretha had children. Are they with us…if so..who are the offsprings that are probably talented Singers. At this hour, we should have seen them with some ensemble. Such information revealed …is incomplete…and minds become inquiry.

  10. Hank Millbourne

    January 27, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    There is no other Queen!

  11. j lewis

    January 27, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    This article is of little if any value what so ever!

    Today we have all the information in the world in
    Literally the palm of our hand, with our phone and pads.

    What do we do? Play games! Rather than increasing our knowledge base in order to better our selves. If someone wanted too know Ms. Franklins history it’s public information they could have looked it up. This blog is turning into a real rag! I’ve had it..

    • Isis

      January 27, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      This article lets all parents know that it is their responsibilities to always protect their children.

    • bruce clifton

      January 27, 2014 at 11:28 pm

      i agree with your assessment of this article. i said the same thing last night and i started to unsubscribe last night. if the quality doesn’t improve i’m going to cut it loose too.

  12. struckbylighting

    January 27, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Please be fully aware that one in three girls in America have an inappropriate sexual encounter before they are 18y.o.. One in six boys have a inappropriate sexual encounter before they are 18y.o. All Parents and all family member do beware of this statistic; if you don’t know, now you know!!!

  13. Corbin

    January 28, 2014 at 1:09 am

    Soooo, basically, Aretha was a ho and we are giving her praise…

    Only in America.

    Her father could not press any charges because she never told ANYONE who her children’s father(s) were. DNA testing wasn’t available to them then.

    Her father was a ho too.

    • MzObservant

      January 28, 2014 at 11:25 am

      How can you determine if she was a “ho” or not? I think that is very disrespect regardless of who she is! It’s not like you know her personally. People are just too quick to judge someone. I personally doubt if she was a willing participant in becoming pregnant at such a young age, especially back in the 50’s. Girls were not fast back then in comparison to the girls of today. “Some” girls that age deliberately get pregnant because they feel unloved and believe that if they get pregnant they will have someone to love. I seen it time and time again.

      • Devon

        January 31, 2014 at 4:11 pm

        She was screwin’. That makes her a ho.

  14. Thelma Williams

    January 28, 2014 at 4:42 am

    I never knew that Aretha had children so young.she did have a husband I know his last name was White.Her mother was not dead but for some reason left the family and she lived in New York and was a dancer for the famous Harlem Cotton club.I hope that gave you a very cheap thrill to reveal this gossip about was a time when girls were not fast as they were not protected as they should have been. She was the baby of the family and her father was a famous preacher and on the road a lot. yes he did have issues with women minor or other wise. I do know he loved Aretha and was instrumental in relieving her of a bad relationship she was in. She was only 17 when she started to do R and B.Now that those thaTt WISH TO JUDGE HAVE HAD THEIR SAY AND THOSE THAT BROUGHT THE DIRT are finished with it. Long live Aretha and her beautiful voice.She has been and done more with her life than anyone of you two ever will. I do not like people that like to tare down people. Get a life!!

  15. B Wilson

    January 28, 2014 at 8:47 am

    I can understand the first child at 12 at her being molested, but the second at 14?, but whatever her problems at such a young age she pulled herself out of it with some lucky breaks and made a life for herself.

  16. Steve

    January 28, 2014 at 9:36 am

    How does the 12yr old daughter of a Big Time preacher have an opportunity to become pregnant not once but twice?……

  17. miniimah hasain

    January 28, 2014 at 10:41 am

    what don’t you all youall just go steight to hell the old school made the way for the young people so give them the respect

  18. ericaf

    January 28, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Whiplash. Didn’t know she had kids at a young age. Any girl having kids that young is no “fast” she is a victim, and yes, she could be victimized more than once by the same person or many people. We are always willing to blame the victims of s€xual abuse faster than the perpetrators, no matter what age the victims may be. Sad. When one is abused , promiscuity becomes a factor in their lives (I’m not saying she was)but without knowing the whole story of anyone’s life. Compassion before judgements


    January 28, 2014 at 11:11 am

    People, let it go!!!!!She’s a talented Queen of Soul and will always be!!!!Let those without sin cast the first stone!!!!She’s handling her business and you haters and naysayers need to do the same!!!!

  20. MzObservant

    January 28, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Knowing the other facts might have been interesting. However, who cares about her having children at a young age? Why was that even mentioned? That could have been omitted. She is up there in age and so are her children. It does not make a difference as far as her talent or her ability to be a good mother, which I am sure she was.

  21. cj

    January 28, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    amazing, she could have used her voice to help many other young girls,, and mothers when she made it, so many folks respected and would not have blamed her. She were more than likly abused by a family member or close friend to the family. that is why the grand-parent took the boys.. Some old nasty dirty low-down person abuse a child ,, really a baby at the age of (12) but that what’s happens when the daddy is out doing dirt himself.. God just allowed it to come back to his front door. You do reap what you sow..This is why she never talk about the boys who are now men if they are still alive. Mother, parents,, need to really learn from stories like this and not label the victim.. She did not have to be a fast girl.. Someone she trusted too much who were close to the family or in the family took advantage of that trust.. we see it too much in our community,, but the thing to do is expose the devil.. that is what the bible say… When my oldest sister husband who had kids my age tried to rape me; I ran right to my mother and believed me she went and got him brought him back to our home with everbody loooking made him get butt naked and crawl around on the floor of our living room like a dog and she made him wagg his tail.. as she stood right there with a loaded shotgun pointed at him,, she were so angry with him,,, she cried for a whole week,, and he did not get to rape me,, because I jumped out of the car and ran,, didn’t have no ideal where I were but I just ran, he had taken his clothes off,, i ran until i came upon a house (AT NIght) I were screaming the man and wife came to the fence and got me,, they knew my mother,, my parents came and took me home first,, and then all hell broke loose.. This ruined their marriage,, my oldest sister never had anything to do with him after that,, she watched her kids close-ly she never trusted.. he later got sick and died, not many family members attended his funeral..I was (14) when this happened.. Believe me it kinda mess with me for a long time,, I became withdrawn of all males,, for many many years,, I never dated until I finished college some years later.. This selfish violent sexual act can mess-up a person mind. As she got older,, she remembered what happened to her over and over and over again.. We all need to just stop and pray for her.. No don’t blame her. Blame the Devil in the one who did this dirty mess.

    • ericaf

      January 29, 2014 at 11:38 am

      You have my kinda mama. Have gun, will travel and protect, the world needs more mothers like that, willing to protect their kids, even from their daddies

    • ALM

      January 31, 2014 at 6:44 am

      Cj, I thank God that your mother believed you. What makes this doubly bad for some people is that some mothers do not believe their children and refuse to investigate. Some mothers also will chose the man over their child. This is an evil world.

  22. Rosa Butler

    January 28, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Everyone has secrets and that what they are. I don’t think we had too know this about Aretha, if we didn’t already know it. I feel these facts were a put down on this woman. “It’s not where you start but where you finish Aretha is still shining!”

  23. jake

    January 28, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Some folks seem to be suggesting that Aretha’s dad had to know something about the paternity of those kids…..


    January 28, 2014 at 4:47 pm


  25. Grace

    January 28, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    first of all too many of our young girls especially in the 50’s/60’s were abused sexually but family kept it secret. It seems to me Aretha was a victim. but she is a survivor just like all the black women who were violated but survived to lead healthy lives. Aretha is an example of who were as black women are. in spite of it all we rise. Thank you Aretha. I am a singer who has always idolized Aretha. to me she is the Greatest. She emobodies truth and soul. Nobody does it better. love her.

  26. pat 111

    January 28, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Hard times sometimes make great singers!!

  27. respect

    January 28, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    It wad always rumored but kept hush hush that arethas father cl franklin fathered that first child who was later institutionalised. There was something wrong with that child. She has always been very private. Also her second husband was rumored to have molested one of her sons and that is why they divorced. His name is Glynn Turman.

  28. teron jones

    January 29, 2014 at 10:26 am

    This article is a little misleading. Aretha had her first child at 14 and another child at 16, not that it makes it any better. Aretha has said herself that she had to learn things the hard way. Aretha mother left the family when she was 6 years old and died when she was 10 years old. This left a big void in her life and though she had a father who was loving and provided material things for his family he was often on the road preaching and making a living. The siblings were cared for by women of the church who were babysitters and nannies. I am sure that she would have benefited from having her mothers love and her mothers advice on dealing with boys. Many of us seek love from other sources when its not given to us at home. I am sure it was easy to mistake sex for love for a young girl as it is today. Aretha has had many heartaches and it is amazing that she is still here surviving, but she is preacher’s daughter and if she does not know anything else she knows the power of God and he has watched over her life. I admit I am a biased fan as she is my favorite singer. She is human and has many flaws but her gift has blessed so many. I am happy that she raises her voice not only for us to enjoy but for civil right. Long live the Legendary Queen of Soul.

  29. T.BAKER

    January 29, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    A motherless child has a hard time,understand that presence alone does not equate to being a mother.
    Unfortunately,fame superseded both of the parents in lieu of parenthood and I see this as the dilemma in any child’s life.Finally,people in general most often “Do what they know”based upon “what hear,see…..

  30. Caryn G.

    January 31, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    My Pastor says that we “ALL” we’re an Ex something!!!. Much R.E.S.P.E.C.T. to the Queen of soul. ain’t a song that she’s made I didn’t Love! i grew up listening to aretha’s song’s Love’m all Next……

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