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Never-before-seen photos of Aretha Franklin featured in new book, ‘The Queen Next Door’


Linda Solomon/Wayne State University PressNever-before-seen before photos of the Queen of Soul are featured in a new book about the iconic singer titled The Queen Next Door: Aretha Franklin, An Intimate Portrait.

Linda Solomon photographed Aretha for over three decades for the 214-page book, which will be published October 14. Many of the photos are from the 1980s, after Aretha moved back to Detroit.

“Detroit was her soul and heart,” Solomon tells The Detroit News.

The 18-time Grammy winner was famous for hosting elaborate parties at her home, and Solomon captured images of several special moments, including Christmas and birthday celebrations.

“She planned all her own parties,” Solomon says. “She even addressed her own invitations and she always used a metallic pen.” 

Solomon began photographing Franklin in 1983 and they formed a special bond. The book title was inspired by Franklin’s quote: “I am the lady next door when I am not on stage.”

“This beautiful book captures her essence,” writes Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Jr. about the book. “Aretha and I grew up together. She was the sister I never had.”

“She is more than a Queen of Soul,” he continues. ”She’s a Queen of Caring, a Queen of Social Justice. She stood with Dr. King and she stood for Nelson Mandela.

Michigan Governor James J. Blanchard and former Mayor of Detroit Dennis Archer will participate in a panel discussion about the book and Franklin’s life on October 27 at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Aretha’s nieces Sabrina Vonne Owens and Cristal Franklin, as well as cousin and backup vocalist Brenda Corbett and sister-in-law Earline Franklin will also be on the panel.

A book signing featuring a fashion show and music tribute to Franklin will also be held November 6 at Saks Fifth Avenue in Troy, Michigan.

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