Hear New Aretha Franklin Song Released Following Her Death: Track Shows ‘Queen Of Soul’ As Passionate Activist

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The “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin died on August 16, at the age of 76, as the Inquisitr reported, leaving behind a legacy of 45 Top 40 hit songs among the hundreds that she recorded, according to History of Recording.

But at least one song recorded by Franklin never saw release at all, at least during her lifetime. But this week that situation was remedied when the 2007 recording of Franklin’s rousing, political anthem “Stand Up For Yourself” was released online by the American Association of Retired People.

What was the AARP doing with a previously unreleased track by the legendary soul songstress? As it turns out, the group worked with Franklin — who was a committed social activist, as the Washington Post reported — on a track that was intended to promote universal health care.

“Aretha Franklin was not only the Queen of Soul but also a civil rights icon and a champion for all Americans’ access to health care,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. “In 2007, AARP worked with Ms. Franklin on an original song, ‘Stand Up for Yourself,’ which was the anthem for what, years later, became the Affordable Care Act. Franklin urged us to, ‘Let’s make the choice: We stand as one because divided we fail.’ Her plea is as timeless today as it was more than a decade ago. She will be missed.”

Aretha Franklin, unreleased Aretha Franklin song, "Stand Up For Yourself", Barack Obama
Tributes to the mate Aretha Franklin have poured in since her death on August 16 — including an unreleased song by The Queen of Soul.Featured image credit: Gabriel OlsenGetty Images

The AARP posted the new song along with a video produced to accompany the track. To access that video and listen to Aretha Franklin perform “Stand Up For Yourself,” access the AARP site.

A funeral for Franklin will be held on Friday, according to Rolling Stone, and will be broadcast live, at least in part by WDIV-TV, WJBK-TV, and WXYZ-TV, all of them local Detroit TV stations. For News and CNN also plan to air the funeral proceedings live — and the Associated Press plans a live online stream.

The funeral is planned as a star-studded musical tribute, with Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Ronald Isley, Chaka Khan and Jennifer Hudson all scheduled to perform at the ceremony, according to the Detroit Free Press. The funeral is set for 10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on August 31 at Greater Grace Temple on Detroit’s west side.

Hudson was selected by Franklin herself to portray the Queen of Soul in an upcoming Hollywood film based on her life, according to The Free Press.