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Mark Bego, Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul (2001)

While Aretha Franklin is intensely private and reluctant to discuss her private life, Bego gets as close as anyone in uncovering the inner story. Readers interested more in Aretha's music than her personality will find the book particularly useful.

Jerry Wexler and David Ritz, Rhythm and the Blues: A Life in American Music (1994)

The Atlantic Record producer played a critical role in bringing rhythm and blues to the mass market. Fans of some of Wexler's "discoveries" like Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles, as well as students of rhythm and blues and the music industry, will like this book.

Aretha Franklin and David Ritz, Aretha: From These Roots (1999)

Readers interested in really getting to the core of the great singer will be disappointed—Aretha is not the soul-exposing type. But this is the closest thing to an autobiography on the market.

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