From the Vault video series kicks off with Queen of Soul, Inductee Aretha Franklin

CLEVELAND (June 3, 2020) – The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame brings together and gives voice to people of all backgrounds and beliefs through music. We celebrate a powerful art form of expression that challenges the status quo and shapes important social change. We stand together in support of equality and respect for all.

During African-American Music Appreciation Month we honor talented African-American artists and their music. We dedicate this first week to the Queen of Soul, ’87 Inductee Aretha Franklin. As the first female inducted into the Hall of Fame, Franklin made unprecedented contributions to both music and culture, from the anthem “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” to performing at three Presidential Inaugurations, she inspired a nation.

Aretha Franklin performs during “The Gospel Tradition: In Performance at the White House” in the East Room of the White House, April 14, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

Visit Franklin’s official bio page for full speeches, performances and tributes starting in 1987 when Clive Davis accepted on her behalf to performances from the 2005 Sam Cooke American Music Masters, 25th Anniversary Concert or even her own 2011 American Music Masters celebration.

Throughout the month of June, we’ll continue to share more From the Vault video series on and our YouTube page highlighting and celebrating the legacy of African-American Inductees. From Induction Ceremony speeches to show-stopping performances, we’re looking at the important moments where music changed us and pushed rock forward in our culture.

Explore free online education resources available at Rock Hall EDU, including a research guide on African-American women in rock, a music and activism in the 21st-century playlist, an activity pack on Lizzo, and collections that spotlight music and civil rights, music and protest, early hip-hop, and artists like Sam Cooke, The Staples Singers, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Bill Withers, and more.

Stay connected on and across the Rock Hall’s social channels on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For more ways to explore the Rock Hall online, visit

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