Aretha Franklin's children: Everything we know about her four children

Aretha Franklin's children: Everything we know about her four children

Aretha Franklin, popularly known as the Queen of Soul, had her claim to fame through her music career. She was also the matriarch of her family. Despite her celebrity status, the singer was guarded about information regarding Aretha Franklin's children.

Aretha Franklin
American musician Aretha Franklin performs on stage at the Chicago Theater, Chicago, Illinois, on 15th December 1986. Photo: Paul Natkin
Source: Getty Images

According to David Ritz, a biographer, the singer was extremely private, unlike most celebrities, and her trick to emotional survival was the idealisation of her life. Go through these details as they debunk Aretha Franklin's children and their whereabouts.

How many children did Aretha Franklin have, and where are they now?

The singer had four sons who she adored. Below are details about them and answers to the question, how old was Aretha Franklin when she gave birth to her children?

How many children did Aretha Franklin have?
Aretha's performance at the Radio City Music Hall on 18th February 2012 in New York City. Photo: Neilson Barnard
Source: Getty Images

Clarence Franklin

  • Full name: Clarence Franklin
  • Date of birth: 28th January 1955
  • Age: 68 years (as of September 2023)
  • Place of birth: Detroit, Michigan, USA
  • Father: Edward Jordan

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Aretha conceived at 12 and had her eldest child, Clarence Franklin, in 1955. She named him after her dad, CL Franklin, the American Baptist minister.

Who fathered Aretha's first child? According to David Ritz, a biographer, Donald Burke, a boy from Aretha's school, was Aretha Franklin's first child's father. However, according to an alleged handwritten will discovered in 2019, Clarence Franklin's father was confirmed to be Edward Jordan.

Not much information about Edward Jordan and Aretha Franklin's relationship and Clarence's childhood is publicly available. He is said to have the least musical interest among Aretha Franklin's sons.

What happened to Aretha Franklin's son Clarence? According to reports, Clarence was diagnosed with an undisclosed mental illness and has a history of being admitted to several assisted living facilities.

Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin performs during the Mandela Day: A 46664 Celebration Concert at Radio City Music Hall on 18th July 2009 in New York City. Photo: Dave M. Benett
Source: Getty Images

Edward Franklin

  • Full name: Edward Franklin
  • Nickname: Eddie
  • Date of birth: 22nd January 1957
  • Age: 66 years (as of September 2023)
  • Place of birth: Detroit, Michigan, USA
  • Father: Edward Jordan

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How old was Aretha when she had her second child? Aretha welcomed her second son, Edward Franklin, on 22nd January 1957, at 14 years.

Who fathered Aretha Franklin's first two children? Edward Jordan fathered the singer's two eldest sons, although they grew up under their maternal grandmother's care.

After Edward's birth, Aretha dropped out of school to focus on her music career. Eddie followed in his mother's footsteps and pursued a music career. He worked as a gospel singer and recorded a cover of This Christmas with his mother.

Teddy Richards

  • Full name: Ted White Jr.
  • Nickname: Teddy Richards
  • Date of birth: February 1964
  • Age: 66 years (as of September 2023)
  • Place of birth: Detroit, Michigan, USA
  • Father: Ted White

In 1961, at age 19, Aretha Franklin married Ted White, who later became her manager. Aretha and Ted had their son, Ted White Jr., in February 1964 in Detroit. After Teddy Richards' birth, Aretha divorced Ted White amid reports of domestic abuse.

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Teddy was primarily raised by his father and family, even though he was close with his mother and played the guitar in her band. Despite his prowess, Teddy Jr. opened up about his father being against his pursuit of music; he emphasised the value of education and not showbiz.

Nonetheless, Teddy Richards had his claim to fame as a singer-songwriter. His albums include:

  • Sonic Bloom
  • The Longest Mile (7 Song CD-Single)
  • Gravity

Richards evolved from a self-taught guitarist to an accomplished tunesmith, sound engineer and producer. On his website, he describes himself as Southwest Florida’s #1 solo entertainer.

Kecalf Franklin

  • Full name: Kecalf Cunningham
  • Nickname: Kecalf Franklin
  • Date of birth: 28th March, 1970
  • Age: 53 years (as of September 2023)
  • Place of birth: Detroit, Michigan, USA
  • Father: Ken E. Cunningham

Kecalf Cunningham, also known as Kecalf Franklin, was born on 28th March 1970 in Detroit, Michigan. His name was a combination of his father's name, Ken E., and his mother's initials ALF. Ken E. was Aretha's road manager.

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Like his mother, Kecalf pursued a career as a gospel musician and rapper. He performed on stage with his mother. Kecalf is also a father, and his children are also singer-songwriters. His daughter, Grace, auditioned for American Idol in a February 2022 episode.

Following Aretha Franklin's death, Kecalf spoke against Jennifer Hudson-led biopic Respect, released in 2021. He castigated her for not acknowledging Aretha's children and grandchildren and putting her family in a book without permission.

Kecalf Franklin
Kecalf poses with the Legacy Award he accepted on behalf of his mom during 'Evolution of Gospel - A Tribute to Aretha Franklin' at The Kennedy Center in September 2018. Photo: Brian Stukes
Source: Getty Images

Who inherited Aretha Franklin's money?

Five years after Aretha's death, the battle over her estate now depends on a trial in a probate court. The legendary singer did not give formal instructions about her money and property. However, eight months after her death, two handwritten wills have been retrieved in her home, including in a spiral notebook crammed under sofa cushions.

Three of Aretha Franklin's kids are divided on the future of their mother's estate. For instance, Teddy believes a document dated 2010 should be used, while Edward and Kecalf believe a document dated 31st March 2014 should be considered.

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Clarence Franklin, Aretha Franklin's son, is not involved in the legal battle since he has special needs and lives under a legal guardianship. However, according to both wills, he must be supported by the estates.

These details about Aretha Franklin's children let you in on the late singer's life. She carved out a name in the music industry and was a doting mother to her sons.

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Source: Briefly News

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