Although she is a singer, Aretha can't read music.
At the 1998 Grammy Awards, Aretha replaced an ill Luciano Pavarotti, and sang the Puccini aria Nessum Dorma for which she received a rousing standing ovation.
The University of Detroit presented Aretha with an honorary doctorate in musicology. In 1997, she was accepted at the Juilliard School of Music to study classical piano but as of 2007, she had not registered for courses.
Aretha states that her favourite film as a child was The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939).
In September, 1999, Aretha was awarded The National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton.
Aretha was married to Glynn Turman from 1978 to 1984.
Aretha is close friends with fellow soul singer Chaka Khan.
In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Aretha No. 9 on their list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time".
Aretha was featured on the cover of TIME magazine in 1968.
Aretha was featured in the TIME magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2005.
Aretha's vocal range is 4 octaves.
Aretha is the godmother of R&B singer Whitney Houston.
Aretha sang the national anthem at Super Bowl XL.
Aretha is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom award.
In 1984, Aretha's father, Clarence L. Franklin, died from gunshot wounds obtained during a burglary
Aretha performed at the United States President Bill Clinton's presidential inauguration in 1992.
Aretha has 4 sons. They are called Clarence Jr. (who she gave birth to when she was 14), Edward (who was born when she was 16), Ted Jr. and Kecalf.
The State of Michigan declared her voice a "National Resource".
Aretha has a fear of flying, which is known as aviophobia.
Aretha has been married and divorced twice. Her husbands were Glynn Turman and Ted White.
Aretha was arrested in Detroit for disturbance of the peace in 1969.
Aretha has 2 brothers and 2 sisters. Sister Carolyn wrote the songs Gotta Find Me an Angel and Ain't No Way; Aretha recorded both. Sister Erma performed the original recording of Take Another Little Piece of My Heart, later made famous by Janis Joplin.
Aretha's mother left the family when Aretha was just 6 years old.
Aretha had a cameo in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers.
Aretha was the first woman to be admitted to the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and the second woman to be admitted to the UK Music Hall of Fame.
Aretha: If a song's about something I've experienced or that could've happened to me it's good. But if it's alien to me, I couldn't lend anything to it. Because that's what soul is all about.
Aretha: I'm a big woman. I need big hair.
Aretha: I sing to the realists; people who accept it like it is.
Aretha: Being a singer is a natural gift. It means I'm using to the highest degree possible the gift that God gave me to use. I'm happy with that.