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Previously unheard Aretha Franklin recording surfaces for Juneteenth
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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The late Aretha Franklin has returned to help celebrate Juneteenth -- in song.



A never-heard-before solo version of "Never Gonna Break My Faith," which Franklin recorded with Mary J. Blige and the Boys Choir of Harlem for the 2006 film "Bobby," about the 1968 Robert F. Kennedy assassination, has been released via all major streaming services to commemorate the 155th Juneteenth, which marked the end of slavery in the United States. Co-written by Bryan Adams, Eliot Kennedy and Andrea Remanda, "Never Gonna Break My Faith" won the Grammy Award for Best Gospel Song in 2007.



Franklin -- a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and former Bloomfiled Hills resident who died Aug. 16, 2018 -- is only known to have performed it once in concert, during the 2008 MusiCares Person of the Year ceremony honoring her.



In a statement, Clive Davis -- Sony Music's chief creative officer and a longtime Franklin friend and collaborator -- said in a statement that, "The world is very different now. Change is everywhere, and each of us, hopefully, is doing the best he or she can to move forward and make change as positive as possible. Everyone needs to hear this song. It should be an anthem."



Franklin's solo performance, he added, "will shake every fiber in your body."



Adams said in his own statement that the Franklin solo version of the song "has been sitting on my computer for years, and when I heard Clive (Davis) was making a film on Aretha's life, I sent this version to him. The world hasn't heard her full performance and it really needed to be heard. I'm so glad it's being released, the world needs this right now."



Franklin is the subject of a new biopic, "Respect" starring Jennifer Hudson, that's currently slated to premiere on Dec. 25.

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