Now in paperback: A vivid, revealing portrait of the beloved Queen of Soul, updated with a new chapter.
"*Starred Review* Bego, the king of pop biographies, has expanded and updated his portrait of the Queen of Soul, which appeared first in 1989, then in 2001. Now his thorough knowledge and unwavering enthusiasm in chronicling Franklin's extraordinary career and shadowed life coalesce in a definitive and irresistible biography. Chatty and caring, Bego offers energetic analysis of Franklin's enormously influential hits ( Respect, Natural Woman ), wildly varied albums, legendary concerts, and bewildering fashion faux pas. Drawing on dozens of interviews with producers, musicians, and others in her circle, Bego delineates the genius of Franklin's musicality as a singer, pianist, and arranger, marveling at her prolificacy and versatility in performing R&B, jazz, rock, gospel, and opera. Pushing past his oddly endearing glitches (cliches, repetition, gushiness), Bego delves into Franklin's secret sorrows and depression, passion for cooking and epic overeating, fear of flying and reclusiveness. For all his persistence, Bego could not unearth the whole truth about her teenage pregnancies, oppressive and abusive first marriage, financial fiascos, or recent health scares. What does emerge with new clarity is the fact that Franklin, winner of 18 Grammys, is not only a queen but also a phoenix, rising triumphantly in sequins and fur from the ashes of despair to reign as a magnificently soulful artist, a voice of pain and womanly-wise transcendence.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"In this unauthorized biography, Bego (who has written books on Michael Jackson and Elton John, among many others) expands his previous books, published in 1989 and 2001, about dynamic vocalist Franklin. For this third book, Bego includes all of the earlier editions, adding "over one dozen Aretha Franklin stories and two new chapters in order to bring the story all the way up to 2012." Those 53 pages tacked on at the end are followed by a "new and improved" reconstructed discography. Here are the highs (singing at the Clinton White House, being a 1994 Kennedy Center Honoree, winning 20 Grammy Awards, performing at Obama's inauguration) and the lows: teen pregnancies, her stormy first marriage, canceled engagements, lawsuits, drinking and weight problems, the fire at her $1.8 million home. Bego writes with enthusiasm and manages to juggle "conflicting information," but since Franklin prefers privacy, he's unable to get the inside information that would have captured the soul of this legendary soul singer. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved