Aretha Franklin's Billboard Chart Accomplishments Since Her Death Span Multiple Genres
The Queen of Soul’s impact spread to R&B, pop, gospel and classical genres.
In the time since Aretha Franklin’s death on Aug. 16, the renowned Queen of Soul has made an impact across several Billboard charts. As her fans rallied around her extensive catalog, many of her songs and albums have populated charts across several genres, including R&B, pop, gospel and even classical music.
Here are some of the highlights of Franklin’s chart successes in recent weeks:
Highest-Charting Billboard 200 Album in 50 Years: While several Franklin albums experienced a resurgence in the past weeks, her 30 Greatest Hits has proven the chief beneficiary. The set, which collects 30 of her biggest singles on Atlantic Records, became her highest-charting album on the all-genre Billboard 200 in 50 years. Its No. 6 position, achieved on the chart dated Sept. 1, was Franklin’s best placement since Aretha Now also ranked at No. 6 on the chart dated Aug. 31, 1968.
“Respect” Re-Enters Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs: The Queen of Soul’s signature song, “Respect,” re-entered the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart (dated Sept. 1) at No. 21 as fans bought and streamed the song in large numbers. The anthem, a former No. 1 on the chart, was the best-selling R&B song of the chart tracking week, Aug. 17-23, according to Nielsen Music, and the fifth-best of any genre.
16 of 25 Songs on R&B Digital Song Sales: Franklin occupies 16 of the 25 positions on the R&B Digital Song Sales chart dated Sept. 1, the highest total recorded by a female artist in one week. Of that, she landed four of the top five: “Respect” (No. 1) with 24,000 in sales in the week ending Aug. 23, and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” (No. 3), “I Say a Little Prayer” (No. 4) and “Chain of Fools” (No. 5) among the top sellers.
Nos. 1 & 2 on Top Gospel Albums: In addition to her legendary R&B records, the Queen of Soul was a prolific gospel recording artist and performer. That dimension of her career shows on the Top Gospel Albums chart, where Franklin’s Amazing Grace: The Complete Recordings debuted at No. 1 on the chart dated Aug. 25 and remained on top the following week. Complete is a 27-song extended version of the 1972 album Amazing Grace (with James Cleveland). Meanwhile, the original 14-track Grace, released nine years before the Top Gospel Albums chart began, made its debut at No. 3 on the list dated Aug. 25 and ascended to No. 2 the next week.
Even on Classical, Too: The Queen of Soul crossed into many genres, including classical music. Her last release during her lifetime, 2017’s A Brand New Me, debuted at No. 2 on the Classical Albums chart dated Aug. 25. The 14-track collection pairs several of Franklin’s existing vocal recordings set to new musical accompaniment from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.