The first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul singer Aretha Franklin, is getting just a little more R-E-S-P-E-C-T. She's the honoree for the Rock Hall's 16th annual American Music Masters Series, which runs Oct. 31-Nov. 5.
"Her story seems like it was made for the American Music Master Series," says Lauren Onkey, vice president of education and public programs for the Rock Hall. "Here's someone who started recording in the 1950s, is still active and has mastered almost every genre she's worked in."
This year's program features a week of interviews, panels, films and educational programs, including a keynote lecture at Case Western Reserve University. The festivities culminate with a tribute concert Nov. 5 at the State Theatre. Franklin will be on hand for the concert but isn't slated to perform.
"You could argue that she's maybe America's greatest singer ever," Onkey says. "What's great about her is that you can't isolate her contribution to one particular era. The goal is to give people a look at so much of what she's done."