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Erma Franklin
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    (March 13, 1938-September 7, 2002)
    Born in Shelby, Mississippi
    Older sister of Aretha Franklin
    Recorded the singles 'Piece of My Heart' (1967) and 'Gotta Find Me a Lover (24 Hours a Day)' (1969)
    She was overshadowed by Aretha.
    Her version of 'Piece of My Heart' was nominated for a Grammy as Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, only to lose to her sister's 'Chain of Fools' (1968).
    She said she did not recognize 'Piece of My Heart' when Janis Joplin recorded it.
    In the mid-70s, she left the music biz, except for occasionally singing backup for Aretha.
    Twenty five years after she recorded it, her version of 'Piece of My Heart' became a top 10 hit in Britain after it was used in a Levi's ad.
    After she left the music industry, she worked for the Boysville Holy Cross Community Center, a Detroit organization that helps homeless and disadvantaged children.
    She said, 'People might think I should do more singing, but I get emotional satisfaction from what I'm doing now.'
    During a joint appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, when Oprah asked Erma 'What is it like to be the sister of Aretha,' Aretha interjected, 'Erma is her own woman!'

Credit: C. Fishel

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