You better think about what the “Blues Brothers” would be without Mrs. Murphy — a.k.a. Aretha Franklin.
The late soul and R&B singer was one of several artists who played a significant part in the 1980 musical comedy, starring John Belushi and Dan Akroyd — along with James Brown, Cab Calloway and Ray Charles. Franklin takes over in one iconic scene where she performs her hit “Think” — you know, but in character as a soul food-restaurant owner’s wife who has some choice words for him.
The comedy centers around Jake (Belushi) who reunites with his brother, Elwood (Akroyd), after being released from prison. The duo, collectively known as the “Blues Brothers,” set out to save the orphanage the siblings grew up in from closing, by raising $5,000 to pay its back taxes. The two work to earn the money by getting their old band back together. However, after playing several gigs and making a few enemies, including the police, the brothers face daunting odds to deliver the cash on time.
The R&B singer celebrated as the Queen of Soul who rose to fame in the 1960s with hits like “Respect” and “(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman,” died Thursday in Detroit at the age of 76. Franklin’s publicist confirmed the news of her death to the Associated Press on Thursday morning.
Franklin, who has long battled diabetes and other physical ailments, announced in February 2017 that she planned to give up touring. “I am retiring this year,” Franklin told WDIV Local 4 in Detroit. “I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it.”
Watch Franklin’s appearance in the clip above.