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Aretha Franklin receives honorary Harvard degree

By Tim Sandle     Jun 1, 2014 in Entertainment
Cambridge - Soul legend Aretha Franklin, aged 72, has received an honorary degree from Harvard University. Before receiving the award, Franklin took to the piano.
Aretha Franklin is a veteran soul singer. Franklin began her career singing gospel at her father, minister C. L. Franklin's church as a child. In 1960, at age 18, Franklin embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records only achieving modest success. Following her signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success helping her to gain the title "The Queen of Soul" by the end of the 1960s decade.
Her classic hits include Respect, Chain Of Fools and Think. She has won 18 Grammy Awards and was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1987.
Now comes another honor, Franklin has received an honorary doctor of arts from Harvard University, according to Billboard. Franklin was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts and was one of multiple recipients of honorary degrees from the institution with former President George H. W. Bush and Michael Bloomberg joining Franklin and others. Franklin herself never attended college.
Before receiving the award, Franklin gave a rousing rendition of the US national anthem before receiving the honour at the university's annual commencement ceremony. The soul star opened the Morning Exercises in Tercentenary Theater with a rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" as she sang and played piano.
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