Skip to product information
1 of 3

Design Turnpike LLC

Aretha Franklin Handmade Original

Regular price
$1,999.00 USD
Regular price
$3,300.00 USD
Sale price
$1,999.00 USD

For the third consecutive year, Design Turnpike is proud to reveal the Piece of the Year for 2022: Aretha Franklin License Plate Portrait.

Aretha Louise Franklin was an American singer, songwriter and pianist. Referred to as the "Queen of Soul", she has twice been placed ninth in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". With global sales of over 75 million records, Franklin is one of the world's best-selling music artists.

The fourth of five children, Aretha Louise Franklin was born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee, to Baptist preacher Reverend Clarence La Vaughan "C. L." Franklin and Barbara Siggers Franklin, a gospel singer. Franklin's parents separated by the time she was six, and four years later her mother succumbed to a heart attack. Guided by C. L.'s preaching assignments, the family relocated to Detroit, Michigan. C. L. eventually landed at New Bethel Baptist Church, where he gained national renown as a preacher. Franklin's musical gifts became apparent at an early age.

Largely self-taught, she was regarded as a child prodigy. A gifted pianist with a powerful voice, Franklin got her start singing in front of her father's congregation. By the age of 14, she had recorded some of her earliest tracks at his church, which were released by a small label as the album Songs of Faith in 1956. She also performed with C. L.'s traveling revival show and, while on tour, befriended gospel greats such as Mahalia Jackson, Sam Cooke and Clara Ward.

This 36 x 48 handmade original is a stunning homage to one of the greatest performers of all time. It is made entirely of recycled vintage license plates from Michigan, representing the place her legendary career had its genesis. Over a hundred individual sections of plates have been colorfully and boldly painted in a partially opaque way and assembled to form an iconic shot of the young singer.

Only one of these pieces will ever be created. Signed and numbered on the reverse in silver.

More questions? Text me at 313-287-0613