When I was 13 years old I asked my parents to get me the Aretha Franklin greatest hits album Ten Years of Gold for Hanukkah. I’d heard “Until You Come Back to Me” and “Respect” and maybe one more of her songs before then. That album started a life-long love of her music. I now have 50 Aretha albums, plus many singles. One of the highlights of my professional life was working with this woman who I idolized since my teens.
I’m very sad she has left us, but so grateful for the countless hours of joy she brought. Here is my Aretha top 40.