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    ‘Respect’ Fact Check: How Did Aretha Franklin Get Pregnant as a Preteen?

    (The following post contains SPOILERS for the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect”) The new Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect” shows the Queen of Soul grappling with fame, fortune, finding the right note at the start of her career and everything that followed. But it offers little clarity around one of the most poignant parts of her young life – Franklin’s becoming pregnant as a young girl, whether willingly or otherwise. In the opening of the film directed by Liesl Tommy, we meet a 10-year-old Aretha

    ‘Respect’ Fact Check: How Did Aretha Franklin Get Pregnant as a Preteen?

    Aarohi Sheth and Brian Welk

    August 13, 2021·4 min read

    ‘Respect’ Fact Check: How Did Aretha Franklin Get Pregnant as a Preteen?

    In this article: Aretha Franklin

    American singer-songwriter

    Erma Franklin

    American recording artist; gospel and soul singer

    Barbara Franklin

    American politician and manager

    Carolyn Franklin

    American singer-songwriter (1944-1988)

    Liesl Tommy

    South Africa-born American theater and film director, and actress

    (The following post contains SPOILERS for the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect”)

    The new Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect” shows the Queen of Soul grappling with fame, fortune, finding the right note at the start of her career and everything that followed. But it offers little clarity around one of the most poignant parts of her young life – Franklin’s becoming pregnant as a young girl, whether willingly or otherwise.

    In the opening of the film directed by Liesl Tommy, we meet a 10-year-old Aretha (played by 12-year-old Skye Dakota Turner) whose preacher father (Forest Whitaker) brings her downstairs to a party full of famous people and asks her to sing for everybody.

    In a later party scene, with the clearly pre-pubescent Aretha preparing to go to sleep in her bedroom, an unnamed man enters, closes the door and says that he’ll be her “boyfriend.” Later, we see the little girl in silhouette, now with a round belly of pregnancy.

    The scene is fairly elusive in what it really suggests about the specifics of Franklin’s early-in-life pregnancy — but clearly hints at a much darker chapter of her life than many fans knew. So what really happened?

    In real life, Franklin gave birth to four boys: Clarence Franklin, Edward Franklin, Teddy Richards and Kecalf Cunningham. Clarence, her firstborn who was named after the singer’s preacher father, was born just two months before her 13th birthday, and she had Edward, her second child, two years later at age 14.

    Franklin herself never revealed the identity of the father of either of the boys, but a 2014 biography by David Ritz called “Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin” claimed that the father of her oldest son Clarence was Donald Burke, a boy she knew from school. But there is no suggestion in the biography that the pregnancy resulted from a nonconsensual encounter, or as the movie suggests and as critics have observed, that she was the victim of statutory rape.

    However even that detail was called into question in 2019 after Franklin’s death, when three handwritten wills were discovered in her home, including one in a notebook wedged between couch cushions. When Franklin died in 2018, her family believed that she had no will, and her sons have argued in court over the authenticity of those documents.

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    Source : www.yahoo.com

    How many children did Aretha Franklin have and where are they now?

    Aretha Franklin was one of the world's most respected singers of all time, with her brand of powerful and moving soul music resonating with millions around the world.

    How many children did Aretha Franklin have and where are they now?

    26 May 2021, 18:11 | Updated: 28 May 2021, 09:41

    Aretha Franklin and her son Kecalf. Picture: Getty

    Aretha Franklin was one of the world's most respected singers of all time, with her brand of powerful and moving soul music resonating with millions around the world.

    Now the subject of a new biopic drama starring Jennifer Hudson as the Queen of Soul in Respect, the film will show Aretha's rise to fame in the 1960s despite some tough challenges.

    Read more: Who was Aretha Franklin's preacher father CL Franklin?

    Aretha had a difficult childhood, particularly as she gave birth to her first child aged just 12 years old. But how many kids did Aretha have and where are they now?

    Clarence Franklin

    Clarence Franklin (centre) at his mother's funeral in 2018. Picture: Getty

    Aretha first became pregnant at the age of 12, and gave birth to her first child, named Clarence after her father, American Baptist minister CL Franklin, in 1955.

    According to biographer David Ritz, the father of her oldest son Clarence was believed to be Donald Burke, a boy from school.

    However, it was later reported in one of her handwritten wills, discovered in 2019, that Clarence's father was actually Edward Jordan - whom she went on to have son Edward with in 1957.

    Not much is known about Clarence's life, but he is said to have had the least musical interest of her four sons. However, he is believed to have written a number of songs, including some recorded by his mother.

    It was revealed in her handwritten wills that she had made "special provisions" for Clarence, now in his 60s, who has undisclosed special needs.

    Edward Franklin

    In 1957, aged 14, Aretha had a second child named Edward after his father Edward Jordan.

    While Aretha was pursuing her career, her grandmother Rachel and sister Erma took turns raising the children.

    Now in his 60s, Edward is also a singer. He performed several duets with his mother and even sang at his mother's funeral in 2018.

    Ted White Jr

    Teddy Richards. Picture: Teddy Richards

    Her third child, Ted White Jr, was born in 1964 and is known professionally as Teddy Richards. Aretha was 25 at the time of Teddy's birth.

    Aretha married her first husband Ted White aged 19. Aretha and Ted Sr divorced in 1969.

    Now in his 50s, Teddy has released several albums and played at many of his mother's concerts. He also performed as the opening act for artists such as Seal and INXS.

    Kecalf Cunningham

    Aretha with son Kecalf and Clive Davis in 2014. Picture: Getty

    Aretha's youngest son, Kecalf, was born in 1970 and is the child of her road manager Ken Cunningham.

    Now in his 50s, Kecalf is a Christian rapper. He also performed with his mother, with their most famous performance coming at a 2008 concert at the Radio City Music Hall.

    His name is an acronym of both his father and mother’s full names.

    In March 2021, it was reported that Teddy and Clarence had filed a fourth will that they claim will split their late mother’s $80 million estate among all four children.

    After three conflicting handwritten wills were found in Aretha's Detroit home, a fourth one has now been filed.

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    Source : www.smoothradio.com

    Does Aretha Franklin Have Children? Meet Her Four Sons

    Aretha Franklin gave birth to four sons—Clarence, Edward, Teddy, and Kecalf. They all tried their hand at music, and will be depicted in upcoming film projects.

    Our editors handpick the products that we feature. We may earn commission from the links on this page.

    Aretha Franklin's Four Sons Followed in Her Musical Footsteps

    Franklin's life is the subject of high-profile projects starring Cynthia Erivo and Jennifer Hudson.

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    When soul icon Aretha Franklin died in 2018, she left behind not only a mammoth catalog of hits, but four children. Between 1955 and 1970, Franklin had sons Clarence, Edward, Teddy, and Kecalf, all of whom ultimately followed their mother into the music world in various forms.

    Franklin’s story is coming back into the public focus with a pair of projects—the Cynthia Erivo-led Genius: Aretha, which is streaming on Hulu, and the Jennifer Hudson-fronted biopic RESPECT, out on August 13.

    According to Genius: Aretha showrunner Suzan-Lori Parks in an interview with Oprah Daily, part of the desired takeaway from the Nat Geo series is for viewers to be inspired by how Franklin weathered difficult situations in her life.

    “A lot of times as an African American woman, I feel in my struggles that I’m alone,” she said. “Just to know that there was another sister out there who went through some similar difficulties and persevered and she was tenacious.”

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    With Aretha buzz in the air, here's what you should know about the lives of her children.

    She had four sons over the course of her life.

    Michael Ochs Archives//Getty Images

    Franklin gave birth to four boys—Clarence Franklin, aged 66, Edward Franklin, 64, Teddy Richards, 57, and Kefcalf Cunningham, 51. Teddy was the child of her first husband and one-time manager, Ted White. Kecalf’s father was also another former manager of Franklin’s, Ken Cunningham.

    Later in life, it was announced that Franklin intended to marry longtime friend Willie Wilkerson. The pair was engaged but called off a wedding in 2012. Wilkerson died of complications from COVID-19 in April 2020.

    Franklin had her first child at 12 years old.

    According David Ritz's 2015 book Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin, she gave birth to her first child in 1955, just prior to turning 13. Her son Clarence was named after Franklin’s father, a successful minister who usually went by C.L.

    Back Bay Books Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin

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    Citing another Franklin biography, Ritz wrote that Franklin’s pregnancy was “non-eventful” and that despite her young age, Aretha’s father and extended family in Detroit were supportive. At the time, it was widely believed that the father of her child was a classmate named Donald Burk.

    “Aretha went right back to school after having Clarence,” said her older sister, Erma— a Grammy nominated singer who passed away in 2002—according Ritz's book. “She was an excellent student who did well in all her classes. After school, she’d fly over to the Arcadia, our local roller-skating rink. The Arcadia is where she first ran into Donald Burk. Aretha could skate up a storm.”

    Erma also explained that, despite giving birth young, their parents did not see that as a reason for them to stop pursuing their professional dreams.

    “It was understood that our babies would be welcomed into the world and cared for with limitless love. It was also understood that our future as women—our education and our career—would not be compromised because of these early births,” she said. “Daddy recognized our ambition as a psychological force we had inherited from him. He did everything in his power to encourage that ambition. He did not see his daughters as housewives. He saw us as stars, and that’s how we saw ourselves.”

    Aretha was private about her personal life, but new info came out in the form of a handwritten will.

    According to NBC News, after the singer’s death, her family reportedly uncovered “three handwritten wills” in her home. Prior to that, it was believed that Franklin left no will when she passed in August 2018.

    Included in one of those documents was the revelation that the father of Franklin’s son Clarence was apparently Edward Jordan Sr., and not Burke as was previously believed. That would make Clarence one of two children that Franklin and Jordan had, along with another son named Edward.

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    What was written suggested that he was completely absent from Clarence’s life.

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    “His father, Edward Jordan Sr., should never receive or handle any money or property belonging to Clarence or that Clarence receives as he has never made any contribution to his welfare, future or past, monetarily, material, spiritual, etc,” she wrote.

    Per Ritz’s book, Franklin gave birth to her second child, Eddie, at age 14, and never spoke much about the child’s namesake. It was after having Eddie that Franklin left school and began to fully pursue music, and she signed a record deal with Columbia in 1960. Her debut studio album, Aretha: With The Ray Bryant Combo was released the next year.

    Source : www.oprahdaily.com

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