The “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin will be commanding much more “respect” these days, especially after being given an honorary doctorate from one of this country’s most-prestigious academic institutions, Princeton University, reports the Daily Mail.
Franklin, who dropped out of high school at age 15 to care for her baby, is one of only six recipients of the highly coveted award.
The 70-year-old songstress donned a cap and gown for the honorary degree of Doctor of Music at the New Jersey-based university that was founded in 1746.
Although her current mantlepiece momento is not her first, having garnered other Doctorate of Music honorary degrees from Yale University and the Berklee College of Music, Franklin was clearly pleased by all of the pomp and circumstance that surrounded her, according to the Daily Mail.
Watch Ms. Franklin perform “Natural Woman” here:
Franklin began her musical journey in Detroit and her vocal gifts were apparent at an early age. Franklin’s father was a minister and her mother a homemaker, who dropped dead of a heart attack when Franklin was just 10 years old. As a child, Franklin was considered a musical prodigy, who taught herself the piano. Her powerful vocal range also sent chills through all who witnessed her gifts at her father’s church.
Franklin began recording albums in 1960, and she has not put the brakes on her career since — just last year she released her 38th album, “A Woman Falling Out of Love.”
Even after undergoing an undisclosed health scare in 2010, parting ways with her fiance last year, and losing her god-daughter Whitney Houston last February, Franklin just manages to keep on keepin’ on.