Aretha Franklin's Style Transformation

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Aretha Franklin's Style Transformation

1963

A 21 year-old Franklin poses for a portrait, with classic ‘60’s hair.

1965

Aretha wore her hair much shorter in 1965.

1967

It’s all about the feathers and sky-high hair!

1968

Franklin’s hair is more low key here, to make way for a bright ensemble, complete with patterned stripes on voluminous sleeves.

1969

Aretha getting ready at Symphony Hall in a lovely cream lace dress.

1969

Aretha and this gentleman have 4 different patterns between the two of them!

1970

Grammy Award in hand, Franklin embraces the bold and sparkly in this attention-grabbing ensemble.

1975

A New ‘do and a fur coat keep Aretha stylish in the mid seventies.

1977

Aretha accessorized her white gown with a flower in her hair at the 1977 Grammy Awards.

1980

Back to the fur (and adding bangs!), Aretha is known as the “first lady of soul.”

1982

Aretha rocks a one-shouldered gown on stage in 1982, with ruffles the entire length of the dress.

1989

Her hair may be mellow but Aretha keeps the drama high in this bold white gown.

1990

Aretha in black, gold and red walks hand in hand with Clive Davis.

1992

Hello pattern! Aretha wore this leopard and zebra print jacket and matching cuff to the Arista Records Pre-Grammy Party.

1993

Clearly a fan of fur, Franklin performs at the Lincoln Memorial.

1994

Aretha’s hair is high and so is her hemline! She shows off her legs in this black and white dress at the Essence Awards.

1995

Taking a more laid back route for the Grand Opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Aretha performs in a bright top and white pants.

1997

Ladies and gentlemen, the Queen of Soul wearing a cream dress and matching fur coat at the 39th Annual Grammys.

2001

Franklin performed at Radio City Music Hall for a VH1 Special in this pink and black patterned gown.

2003

It appears Franklin has snowflakes on this gown she wore to the 45th Annual Grammy Awards, fitting for the month of February!

2004

Aretha keeps her favorite look close with fur-cuffed sleeves on this long white coat.

2005

Franklin wore the color of success to the 32nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.

2005

Aretha wore this patterned dress to the 2005 Tony Awards.

2006

Embracing the jewel tone trend, Franklin chose this fuchsia dress and jacket for the National Arts Awards.

2007

It’s all about the drama on the red carpet, and Aretha knows how to bring it with this outfit!

2008

Talk about a statement: between the tulle, gemstones and fur coat, we know that royalty has arrived.

2009

Franklin dressed up this sleek black dress with bright colorful necklaces.

2010

Golden from her hair down to her toes, Aretha made the Tony Awards red carpet shimmer.

2011

Aretha looked classically chic as she stepped out in New York City in this long grey coat.

2011

Aretha wore a statement necklace to amp up the glam of this black dress.

2012

Aretha attended the Pre-Honors Dinner for the BET Honors 2012 in this bright blue embellished gown.

2012

Happy 70th, Aretha! The Queen of Soul looked totally glamorous one year ago, today, at her birthday celebration.

2012

Franklin lights up the stage with her voice and bold sense of style.

2012

Franklin looked effortlessly chic in this black and silver ensemble while attending “Motown The Musical.”

2012

Aretha absolutely shimmered at the 35th Kennedy Center Honors in this striped gown.

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It's hard to believe that Aretha Franklin turns 71 today, but the singer, songwriter and pianist is indeed ringing in another year (in style, we're sure!).

The "Queen of Soul" began performing at age 10, when she started to sing at her father's church. She also started to play the piano at a young age, teaching herself and learning to play by ear.

Her father became famous for his sermons, and as such attracted famous faces from all over the world to visit their home. He also was one of very few to record his sermons, having signed with JVB Records, and helped sign Aretha to the same label in 1956.

With that impeccable voice, she quickly rose to stardom, and spent her life in the spotlight. We've loved seeing her style transform through the years (and once you look through, you'll KNOW that Ms. Franklin is happy about the huge fur trends on the runway this year!) and in honor of her birthday, we've compiled some of her greatest looks.

Take a look through the gallery above, and be sure to wish one of the greatest voices of all time a very happy birthday!

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