Aretha Franklin: A Portrait of Self-Appreciation

Aretha Franklin: A Portrait of Self-Appreciation

Aretha Franklin, the legendary Queen of Soul, was no stranger to self-appreciation. According to renowned celebrity photographer Matthew Jordan Smith, Franklin had a unique way of indulging in her own music during photoshoots. Smith recalled a moment in 2005 when he played a playlist that included Mariah Carey, only to find that Franklin wasn’t into it. When asked who her favorite new artist was, Franklin confidently responded with “Me!” This display of self-love was a testament to Franklin’s larger-than-life personality.

Smith’s encounter with Franklin led him to create a special playlist titled “Aretha Cool” that featured her favorite songs. Franklin’s reaction to hearing her own music was described as a moment of pure joy and self-expression. Smith noted that Franklin would often sing along as he photographed her, creating a unique and intimate atmosphere during their sessions. The playlist became a staple in their collaboration, with Franklin never growing tired of hearing her own iconic tunes.

In honor of the late Aretha Franklin, Matthew Jordan Smith is set to release an art photo book titled “Aretha Cool” on March 15. The book will showcase a collection of photographs capturing Franklin’s essence, accompanied by Smith’s personal anecdotes of working with the music icon. Through his lens, Smith was able to document Franklin’s passion for her craft and her unparalleled talent as a performer. The book serves as a touching tribute to a musical legend whose legacy continues to inspire generations.

Smith’s experiences with Aretha Franklin offer a glimpse into the profound impact she had on those around her. From her unwavering self-confidence to her deep connection with her music, Franklin’s legacy is one of resilience and authenticity. Through “Aretha Cool,” Smith pays homage to the Queen of Soul’s enduring spirit and timeless artistry. The playlist on Spotify serves as a reminder of Franklin’s unparalleled talent and the joy she brought to the world through her music. As fans of Franklin continue to celebrate her life and legacy, “Aretha Cool” stands as a testament to her lasting influence on the music industry.


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