Details of FBI’s 40-Year Investigation Into Aretha Franklin Revealed

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Documents obtained by Rolling Stone reveal that the FBI closely monitored Aretha Franklin and her relationships with other artists and activists for four decades.

According to the outlet, a 270-page FBI file details the organization’s surveillance of Franklin through fake phone calls, infiltration, spying, and more from 1967 to 2007.

Franklin, who died in 2018, worked with some of the biggest names in the Civil Rights movement, including Martin Luther King Jr., Angela Davis, and more.

Her father, Clarence L. Franklin, also served as a minister and civil rights activist.

Documents show that the FBI tracked Franklin’s address, phone numbers, and day-to-day activity in an attempt to connect the artist to “extremists.”

Her 270-page file is filled with phrases, including “pro-communist,” “hate America,” “radical,” “Black extremists,” “militant Black power,” and “racial violence.”

The documents also detailed the death threats Franklin received.

“I’m not really sure if my mother was aware that she was being targeted by the FBI and followed. I do know that she had absolutely nothing to hide though,” Aretha Franklin’s son Kecalf told Rolling Stone.

Ultimately, the FBI’s attempt to link Franklin to “radical movements” failed.

Other musicians who famously have FBI files include Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix, Whitney Houston, and The Notorious B.I.G.

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