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Aretha Franklin: Five must-own albums

As prolific as she was influential, Aretha Franklin released dozens of albums in a career that lasted longer than half a century.

Here are five of her most important:

"Laughing on the Outside," 1963

With a seemingly arbitrary mix of pop, jazz and R&B tunes, Franklin's early-'60s output on Columbia Records left audiences unsure about what kind...Read more

Aretha Franklin remembered as 'dear, dear friend' by music industry greats

With her place as a hit-making force cemented decades ago, music industry greats stepped up to remember Aretha Franklin on Thursday after her death.

Some, such as Clive Davis, said their relationship went beyond business -- to friendship.

"She was truly one of a kind. She was more than the Queen of Soul. She was a national treasure to be ...Read more

The night Aretha Franklin turned to opera, and saved the Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards ceremony has never suffered a shortage of drama during the annual telecast.

But there probably was never a more heart-stopping turn of events than on the night of Feb. 25, 1998, when the 40th Grammys were put on at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

The show's longtime executive producer Ken Ehrlich often cites that ...Read more

When Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, sat down at her piano it was pure magic

LOS ANGELES -- Aretha Franklin's visits to Los Angeles were relatively few and far between throughout her career, a function of her aversion to flying. Typically, she would travel to gigs the old-school way, by tour bus, which consequently required a good three- or four-day trek from her home in Detroit to the West Coast.

It wasn't unusual for ...Read more

Capsule reviews of feature films

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP. 2.5 stars. So-so sequel to the funny original has Ant-Man helping Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) rescuing the latter's mother from a subatomic prison, with interference form a crook (Walter Goggins) and a mysterious woman known as Ghost (Hannah Kamen-Hones). Over-plotted, strains for laughs. ...Read more

PETA calls for boycott of family film 'Alpha' over alleged mistreatment of animals

On Wednesday, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called for a boycott of the upcoming family wilderness drama "Alpha," which opens Friday, alleging in a press release that "multiple bison were reportedly slaughtered and partially skinned to be used for a hunting scene."

Set during the Upper Paleolithic period, the Albert Hughes-...Read more

Movie review: Iko Uwais almost makes 'Mile 22' worth it

How was your latest drive to the airport? Hopefully a lot less complicated and violent than the one Mark Wahlberg undertakes in his latest outing with frequent collaborator Peter Berg in "Mile 22." Working from a wordy, wham-bam script by debut screenwriter and spy novelist Lea Carpenter, Berg and Wahlberg tackle the story of a special ops team ...Read more

Appreciation: Aretha Franklin was the Queen of Soul, and the viral video

Aretha Franklin was a legendary singer, a pioneering arranger and producer and, not least, an important figure in the fight for civil rights.

She was also -- stay with me here -- a master of the modern viral video.

Think about this: In the last few years of her life, which ended Thursday when she died of advanced pancreatic cancer at age 76, ...Read more

Aretha Franklin dies at 76: 'Queen of Soul' transformed American music

DETROIT -- Aretha Franklin, whose impassioned, riveting voice made her a titan of American music, has died after a battle with advanced pancreatic cancer, her publicist told the Associated Press. She was 76.

Franklin was the loftiest name in the rich history of Detroit music and one of the transcendent cultural figures of the 20th century. ...Read more

Television Q&A: Is Jim Dial returning to 'Murphy Brown'?

You have questions. I have some answers.

Q: I was always a fan of "Murphy Brown" and am looking forward to the series reboot this fall. However, I notice on all the promos for the show's return that all the characters are there except Jim Dial (Charles Kimbrough). Has he decided not to reprise his character? That would leave Murphy with three ...Read more

Aretha Franklin, the 'Queen of Soul,' dead at 76

Aretha Franklin, who died Thursday at 76, was a once-in-a-generation singer. She was the Queen of Soul, but she also ventured into -- and mastered -- virtually every style of music, from jazz and classical to rhythm and blues. She passed away at her home in Detroit, according to the late singer's publicist.

The singer was in and out of ill ...Read more

Aretha Franklin's essential recordings

Aretha Franklin, who died Thursday at 76, was a once-in-a-generation singer. She was the Queen of Soul, but she also ventured into -- and mastered -- virtually every style of music, from jazz and classical to rhythm and blues. Here were her essential recordings:

"You Grow Closer" (1998): The teenage Aretha cuts loose in the '50s, revving up a ...Read more

LA Philharmonic plans youth center in Inglewood

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- With the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers' forthcoming stadium certain to transform Inglewood, a $14.5 million renovation of an abandoned bank building a mile away may seem a smaller emblem of civic renewal.

But at a ceremony Wednesday unveiling architect Frank Gehry's design for the Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center at...Read more

'Apprentice' alum Penn Jillette says tapes of Trump saying 'racially insensitive things' do exist

Magician Penn Jillette believes "The Apprentice" producer Mark Burnett has tapes of Donald Trump saying damaging things during the president's time judging the NBC reality competition.

As an alum of "The Celebrity Apprentice," Jillette "was in the room" when they were said, he told Vulture in an interview published on Tuesday.

However, ...Read more

Dane Cook talks about the 27-year age gap with girlfriend Kelsi Taylor

So what's Dane Cook's advice for those dating way out of their age group?

"The only thing you have to do is plan that your deaths will be somewhat far apart," the comedian and actor said Monday night during an Instagram Stories Q&A.

Pardon us a moment while we do the math as to what that might mean for the check-out dates for the 46-year-old ...Read more

'Little Mermaid' comes up short of being big fish tale

"The Little Mermaid" is swimming against a massive cinematic tide. This live-action romance/drama is a sweet film about love and lore that would have done a lot better in the fall or spring when the box office battles aren't so brutal. Arguments can be made for alternative summer movie options, but in this case the lack of a major star in either...Read more

Movie review: 'Alpha' is simple, but will melt any dog lover's heart

You know Sheila the She-Wolf from "Glow" on Netflix? "Alpha" would be her favorite movie. She'd watch it every day on a VHS tape, memorizing each line of Cro-Magnon dialogue, fashioning her costumes in tribute to the fur-trimmed Hot Topic looks sported by the characters, adopting a Czech wolf dog like the one in the movie. It's sweet, really, to...Read more

Review: '93Queen' offers an insider's view of women's lives in a self-contained Hasidic community

Whatever their manifold differences may be, ultra-orthodox Muslims and ultra-orthodox Jews do share a zealous determination to keep women away from motorized vehicles.

While Saudi Arabia until quite recently kept women from driving at all, a similar dynamic played out in the Hasidic enclave of Borough Park, Brooklyn, as revealed in the intimate...Read more

One father with two secret families. Life is complicated in the comedy 'Bliss'

It's not exactly "Big Love" or "Sister Wives," but BritBox comedy "Bliss" pushes the concept of juggling multiple families to the extreme.

The half-hour comedy by actor and comedian David Cross ("Arrested Development") was to arrive Wednesday on the BBC and ITV streaming service, and it follows the exploits of renowned travel writer Andrew (...Read more

Redbox's Top 10 DVD rentals

The top 10 DVD rentals at Redbox kiosks for the week of Aug. 6:

1. Life of the Party -- Warner

2. Breaking In -- Universal

3. Overboard (2018) -- Lionsgate

4. Rampage -- Warner

5. Ready Player One -- Warner

6. I Feel Pretty -- Universal

7. Super Troopers 2 -- Fox

8. Blockers -- Universal

9. A Quiet Place -- Paramount

10. Blumhouse's ...Read more