Meet the 4 adult children of soul icon Aretha Franklin, who bear an uncanny resemblance to their mother (2023)

Three years after the death of Aretha Franklin, the world continues to mourn the iconic singer. Hardest hit, though, are their four adult children, whom fans know little to nothing about.

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The Queen of Soul passed away in August 2018 after a battle with cancer, leaving a void in the music industry and her family's lives. Aretha was a renowned artist, a dedicated philanthropist, and the proud mother of four grown children.

However, the singer kept her private life out of the spotlight as best she could, which is why some fans are still surprised to learn that she became a mother for the first time at the age of 12.

Meet the 4 adult children of soul icon Aretha Franklin, who bear an uncanny resemblance to their mother (1)

Aretha Franklin on stage at the Elton John AIDS Foundation celebrates its 25th year and honors founder Sir Elton John on Nov 7, 2017 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

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CLARENCE, THE FIRSTBORN

Their first child was born in January 1955 and was named after his father. This led some people at the time totheorizethat Aretha's father got her pregnant, but a few years later, she wasrevealedin one of his handwritten wills, discovered in 2019, that Clarence's father was Edward Jordan.

Although Clarence was never interested in music, he made a point of repaying all her love and dedication to his mother, since she was just a girl, just another child when she had him. Clarence was always there for his mother, as the eldest of her children.

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Aretha Franklin's son Clarence Franklin (right) hugs an attendee after his mother's funeral at Greater Grace Temple on Aug. 31, 2018 in Detroit. Source: Getty Images

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He is believed to have written several songs, including some recorded by his mother. It was revealed in their handwritten wills that Aretha had made "special provisions" for Clarence.

He has undisclosed special needs, and his current occupation and exact whereabouts are unknown.

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EDWARD, UM PERFORMANCE NATURAL

Edward Franklin was born two years after Clarence, when Aretha was 14 years old. His father is a man named Edward Jordan, but that's all the information that's been made public about him.

Edward Jr. became interested in music at a young age. He has had the privilege of performing with his mother on several occasions and even sang at his grandfather's funeral in 2015. Edward also sang at his mother's funeral in 2018.

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Although he never pursued a solo career, Aretha asked him to record a song with her for a Christmas album, "This Christmas, Aretha".

She also sang some background vocals for Aretha's 2011 release "A Woman Falling Out Of Love" on her cover of the gospel song "His Eyes Is On the Sparrow". When Aretha passed away, Edwardcanto"Mercy Mercy Me" by Marvin Gaye as a musical tribute to her.

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William Wilkerson, singer Aretha Franklin and Edward Franklin attend the 2014 BET Honors at the Warner Theater on Feb. 8, 2014 in Washington | Source: Getty Images

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The man would have had some run-ins with the law. He was also involved in an investigation into an arson attack at his mother's Detroit home, but was never charged.

In 2010, it wasvanquishedby three unknown men at a gas station and had to undergo surgery to heal his injuries.

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THEODORE JR., THE MUSICIAN

Aretha was 19 when she married her first husband, Theodore White Sr. in 1961. Three years later, they welcomed a son, Theodore Jr., into the world. He is the most musically inclined of Aretha's four children.

oparticipatedMichigan State University, can play the guitar and has worked as a music producer, music engineer and tuner. Theodore has played guitar for his mother on several occasions, but he also has a solo career as Teddy Richards.

Theodore collaborated with Australian rock band INXS on several of their biggest hits and was the opening act for other groups including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Seal and The Verve Pipe.

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KECALF THE CHRISTIAN RAPPER

The youngest of Aretha's children, Kecalf Franklin, was born in 1970 to the singer and her then-boyfriend and tour manager, Ken Cunningham. Although they were never married, the couple dated between 1968 and 1976.

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Kecalf had a short career as a Christian rapper, but he was on the same stage as his mother on different occasions. Most memorable for him, perhaps, was Aretha's 2008 concert at Radio City Music Hall.

Kecalf also worked to highlight his mother's history of activism. In 2018, she appeared in a National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Awards YouTube video with her children Victorie and Jordan Franklin and spoke about her efforts.

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In recent years, Kecalf has been critical of upcoming works about his mother. He spoke out against the series "Genius" and the biopic "Respect", starring Jennifer Hudson as Aretha.

Meet the 4 adult children of soul icon Aretha Franklin, who bear an uncanny resemblance to their mother (4)

Aretha Franklin at the Hollywood Christmas Parade with husband Glynn Turman, son Kecalf Cunningham, stepson and stepdaughter Stephanie Turman on November 23, 1978 in Los Angeles | Source: Getty Images

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VICTORIE, A THIRD GENERATION STAR

Although her father doesn't seem to have what it takes to make it in the industry, Kecalf's daughter Victorie Franklin could make all the difference.

The young woman is a star in the making. Is it over thereaccomplishedat the BET Awards in 2014 as part of a tribute to her iconic grandmother, and her rendition of Tamela Mann's "Take Me to the King" earned her a standing ovation from the audience.

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Mbuso Mandela, Aretha Franklin and music producer Berry Gordy appear onstage at the 2014 BET Honors at the Warner Theater on Feb 8, 2014 in Washington | Source: GettyImages/Global Images of Ukraine

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Victorie received personalized training from her grandmother, and the Queen of Soul believed that she was doing very well.

Following Aretha's death, Victorie took to Twitter to share an exclusive video ofAretha Franklinsinging and playing the piano five months before his death.

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“Words cannot describe the pain I feel but God tells me she is at peace,” he wrote in his post.adding:

“Today we lost an icon, a legend, but today I lost my grandmother. I love you and I will make you proud. [sic]"

Maybe we'll see Victorie on stage in the future, keeping her grandmother's legacy alive.

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Aretha Franklin at the "Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives" Premiere Concert on April 19, 2017 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

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MORE ABOUT ARETA

The Queen of Soul was universallyclassifiedamong the greatest and most influential singers of the 20th century. Her publicist had confirmed that she had died of advanced neuroendocrine cancer in the pancreas.

The daughter of Detroit minister CL Franklin was known for her seminal blend of gospel, pop, standards, R&B and blues. All of these defined what would be known as the soul.

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Aretha Franklin at the 39th Annual Kennedy Center Honors on Dec 4, 2016 in Washington | Source: Getty Images

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Aretha Franklin had a vocal range that measured around four octaves at her peak. Her vocal range was said to be between G2 and E6, and she had a mostly mezzo-soprano voice.

Before his death, he hadsungat the inaugurations of three US presidents: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. In addition to singing overtures, she also sang for Queen Elizabeth in the 1980s.

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She has created so many hits and over 100 of her songs have made it onto the Billboard charts. Aretha has won 18 Grammy Awards and was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

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Additionally, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1979 and is one of the most honored performers in Grammy history.

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She received the Grammy Legend Award in 1991 and then received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994, the same year she was honored by the Kennedy Center.

In addition to the endless list of accolades, he is in the NAACP Hall of Fame, the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and in 2005 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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THE BATTLE OF THE BROTHERS

Shortly after Aretha's death, bitter disputes erupted as her four children and others debated whether any of the handwritten documents found in her home couldqualify as valid wills.

As of 2019, the property has not been accurately valued, but some experts have estimated that it could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, if the family can manage it properly.

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When Aretha died aged 76, her family believed she had no will. Under Michigan law, this meant that her estate would be divided equally among her four children.

With that understanding, the children named Sabrina Owens, daughter of Aretha's sister Erma, as the estate's representative or executor. However, the appearance of his handwritten notes changed the dynamic of things.

Under Michigan law, a handwritten will may be admitted even without witnesses, provided it is signed, dated, and in the deceased's handwriting.

Meet the 4 adult children of soul icon Aretha Franklin, who bear an uncanny resemblance to their mother (8)

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