Aretha Franklin’s Sons, Clarence, Edward, Teddy, & Kecalf, All Love Music

The brand new Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect, chronicles the singer-songwriter’s struggles and successes, together with her relationships along with her four sons: Clarence Franklin, Edward Franklin, Ted White, Jr., and Kecalf Cunningham. She didn’t speak typically about her personal life, however in a 2015 interview, she did communicate briefly about her expertise of motherhood as a Black girl: “My sons grew up just about the identical method I did. As we speak, it’s totally different. Most moms within the African American neighborhood are very involved about their youngsters and speaking to them about conduct themselves.” All 4 of Franklin’s youngsters have proven an curiosity in music, and a few have gone on to have musical careers of their very own.

After the singer’s dying, Franklin’s sons were mired in a dispute over her property. Initially, it was thought she didn’t go away a will, however two (or doubtlessly three) handwritten ones have been ultimately discovered. As of 2019, the brothers have been at odds about whether or not the wills have been legitimate and enforceable, and the way the property ought to be divided between them. In 2021, a fourth potential will was found, additional complicating issues.

However except for their shared musical skills and their latest authorized battle, what will we find out about Aretha Franklin’s youngsters? Beneath, meet the icon’s 4 sons.

Clarence Franklin

Clarence Franklin (proper) at his mom’s funeral.Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Photos

Franklin was solely 12 in 1955 when she had her first son, Clarence — named after her minister and activist father, Rev. C.L. Franklin. Clarence has written a number of songs, a few of which Franklin went on to sing and document. It’s reported in court documents that Clarence has been identified with psychological sickness and has lived in assisted residing amenities. As of 2019, he was residing in a gaggle residence outdoors Detroit.

Though it was believed on the time of Clarence’s delivery that his father was considered one of Franklin’s classmates, Donald Burk (typically reported as Burke), a handwritten will found after Franklin’s death named Edward Jordan, Sr. as the daddy. Jordan was described in Franklin’s autobiography as a “participant,” and in considered one of Franklin’s wills it’s written that “[Clarence’s] father, Edward Jordan Sr., ought to by no means obtain or deal with any cash or property belonging to Clarence or that Clarence receives as he has by no means made any contribution to his welfare, future or previous, monetarily, materials, religious, and many others.”

Edward Franklin

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Edward was born in 1957, and his father was additionally Edward Jordan, Sr. Franklin didn’t talk about her earlier pregnancies with reporters, and little else is thought about Edward’s father. Each Edward and Clarence have been raised by Franklin’s mom and sister in Detroit after Franklin’s profession started to take off, though Franklin reportedly noticed her sons recurrently.

Edward has labored as a gospel singer, and has performed duets with his mother, even singing at her funeral. “I’ve labored along with her earlier than … we knocked the track out in two or three takes,” he stated when the 2 recorded Christmas music collectively.

Ted White Jr.

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Ted “Teddy” White, Jr., born in 1964, was the only baby Franklin had with her first husband and manager, Ted White Sr. White Sr. was allegedly bodily abusive to Franklin; the 2 have been married in 1961 when Franklin was solely 19, and divorced in 1969.

Teddy now makes use of performs with final title Richards, as his father did; he was largely raised by his father’s household. He performed guitar for his mom for 30 years and is also a singer who’s been opened for performers like Seal and The Verve Pipe. He’s spoken about his mom’s iconic music and the importance of her songs — even divulging that his mother had a cold in the course of the recording of her most well-known track, “Respect.” He nonetheless continues to perform.

Kecalf Cunningham

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Franklin had her youngest son, Kecalf, along with her street supervisor Ken Cunningham in 1970. Kecalf’s title is an acronym for his mother and father’ names: Ken E. Cunningham Aretha Louise Franklin.

Kecalf — who typically goes by Kecalf Franklin — was additionally raised in Detroit with Clarence and Edward. He grew to become a Christian rapper, and has additionally carried out together with his mom, together with at Radio City Music Hall. He’s spoken about his mother’s life, legacy, and activism alongside his youngsters Jordan and Victorie. When Genius: Aretha was premiered on Nationwide Geographic, he stated that it was produced without the family’s consent. Against this, he helps Respect and attended the premiere. | Aretha Franklin’s Sons, Clarence, Edward, Teddy, & Kecalf, All Love Music


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