Aretha Franklin blossomed into arguably the greatest singer of all time, but the fame and acclaim wasn’t achieved overnight. The Queen of Soul flexed her enviable vocal chords from a young age, which took her from singing in the church to ultimately signing a major record contract and releasing her debut album at the age of 18.

Scroll through the below photos showing scenes from early on in her career on her way to fully earning her iconic nickname.

Aretha Franklin In Pictures: Rare Photos From The Queen Of Soul’s Early Career was originally published on newsone.com

1. Denise Nicholas And Aretha Franklin On ‘Room 222’

Denise Nicholas And Aretha Franklin On ‘Room 222’ Source:Getty

Denise Nicholas and Aretha Franklin on ABC Television series, ‘Room 222,’ January 14, 1972. (Photo by ABC via Getty Images)

2. Aretha Franklin, circa 1960s

Aretha Franklin, circa 1960s Source:WENN

3. Aretha Franklin At The 50th Annual Academy Awards

Aretha Franklin At The 50th Annual Academy Awards Source:Getty

Aretha Franklin at the 50th Annual Academy Awards, April 3, 1978. (Photo by ABC via Getty Images)

4. Muhammad Ali And Aretha Franklin On Muhammad Ali Variety Special

Muhammad Ali And Aretha Franklin On Muhammad Ali Variety Special Source:Getty

(L-R) Muhammad Ali and Aretha Franklin on Muhammad Ali Variety Special, May 16, 1975. (Photo by ABC via Getty Images)

5. Aretha Franklin Singing On Muhammad Ali Variety Special

Aretha Franklin Singing On Muhammad Ali Variety Special Source:Getty

Aretha Franklin on Muhammad Ali Variety Special, May 16, 1975. (Photo by ABC via Getty Images)

6. Aretha Franklin, circa 1970s

Aretha Franklin, circa 1970s Source:WENN

7. Aretha Franklin Singing With Tom Jones On ‘This Is Tom Jones’

Aretha Franklin Singing With Tom Jones On ‘This Is Tom Jones’ Source:Getty

Aretha Franklin with Tom Jones on ‘This is Tom Jones,’ October 9, 1970. (Photo by ABC via Getty Images)

8. Aretha Franklin Performing at Madison Square Garden

Aretha Franklin Performing at Madison Square Garden Source:Getty

Singer Aretha Franklin performing at a Martin Luther King Jr. tribute called Soul Together on June 28, 1968 at Madison Square Garden in New York. (Photo by PoPsie Randolph/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

9. Aretha Franklin sur scène

Aretha Franklin sur scène Source:Getty

Aretha Franklin performs at a jazz festival. (Photo by GAMMA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

10. Aretha Fanklin pictured in the summer of 1970

Aretha Fanklin pictured in the summer of 1970 Source:Getty

Aretha Fanklin pictured in London, 28th July 1972. (Photo by Eric Piper/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

11. Aretha Franklin In Boston In 1971

Aretha Franklin In Boston In 1971 Source:Getty

BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 16: Aretha Franklin performs at the Boston Commons on Sept. 16, 1971. (Photo by John Blanding/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) vertical,photography,people,one person,arts culture and entertainment,usa,performance,1970-1979,boston – massachusetts,archival,aretha franklin,massachusetts,boston common

12. Aretha Franklin, circa 1967

Aretha Franklin, circa 1967 Source:WENN
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