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Erma Franklin


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Erma Vernice Franklin (March 13, 1938 – September 7, 2002) was an American soul, rhythm and blues, and pop singer. Erma and her sisters, Aretha Franklin and Carolyn Franklin, got their start singing for their father, Reverend C.L. Franklin’s, Detroit-area Baptist church.

Erma’s best known record is the original version of Piece of My Heart. The song was covered in different arrangements by Janis Joplin, Faith Hill, Beverley Knight, and Dusty Springfield, and used as the basis of a song by Shaggy.

She was born in Shelby, Mississippi, but moved several times during her childhood before settling in Detroit, Michigan. Her mother Barbara, who was a gospel singer, left the family when Erma, her two sisters, and her brother were young children.

Though her sister Aretha went on to great fame, Carolyn, like Erma, was a struggling musician. Their brother, Cecil, became a minister like their father and managed Aretha’s career for a while.

Her career was hampered by misfortune and by contracts with recording companies who could not find appropriate material for her. In the 1970s she left the music business, apart from engagements with her sister Aretha. She died in 2002 at the age of 64 after a long battle with throat cancer. In addition to Aretha, she was survived by her daughter Sabrina.


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  • ChristFollower3

    “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” –Hebrews 13:8

    23 Feb 1:33am Reply
  • Keila_M

    12 Jun 2014 Reply
  • jessvs

    Me enamore de esta mujer...

    2 Jun 2010 Reply
  • Jochibara

    I love Franklin family

    5 Jul 2008 Reply
  • Tr1xx

    awww, you're all being unfair. His is more or less OK. Hers is simply superb though.

    12 Apr 2008 Reply
  • greeneyelia

    That Shaggy song is an excellent example of how you can turn an excellent song into a really bad one... ugh.. get rid of Shaggy!

    26 Nov 2007 Reply
  • musrum

    I couldn't agree more. Be gone! GOne i say

    23 Nov 2007 Reply
  • azfad

    can someone please get rid of shaggy. erma deserves better

    20 Sep 2007 Reply

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