Juergen Teller; Steve Mack/Getty ImagesWhat two music legends are still standing, deserve plenty of R-E-S-P-E-C-T and are celebrating milestone birthdays on Saturday? That would be Elton John and Aretha Franklin who turn 70 and 75, respectively, that day.
John’s career took off after he teamed up with lyricist Bernie Taupin in 1967 and began creating what’s become one of the most successful catalog of hits in music history. Starting with 1971’s “Your Song,” Elton’s impressive string of hits spanned well into the 1990s.
During the 1990s, John also launched a successful career as a composer of musicals like The Lion King, Aida and Billy Elliott. After getting sober, he threw himself into philanthropic work, particularly through his Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Elton will celebrate his birthday at a party at The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. The bash, which will benefit his AIDS Foundation, will include a special performance by the godmother of his two sons: Lady Gaga.
Franklin, of course, is simply the Queen of Soul. A pastor’s daughter, Aretha developed her powerful voice singing gospel at her dad’s Detroit church before turning to secular music. Her career skyrocketed after she signed to Atlantic Records in 1967, scoring early hits like “Respect,” “Chain of Fools,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “Think.”
Aretha continued to rack up major hits through the 1980s; in 1987 she was the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. An 18-time Grammy winner, Aretha held the record for the most charting songs on the Billboard Hot 100 by a woman — 73 — until this past week, when she was eclipsed by rapper Nicki Minaj.
Aretha recently revealed that she plans to retire at the end of 2017, although she’s also recording a new album that’ll includes contributions from Stevie Wonder.
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