Edward Franklin is the second of the late Aretha Franklin’s children, born on January 22, 1957 to Franklin and Edward Jordan.
In the wake of Aretha Franklin’s death on August 16, 2018, Franklin’s four sons issued a joint statement:
“In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.”
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Edward Franklin’s Father, Edward Jordan, Was Described by Aretha Franklin as ‘Just Some Player’
Franklin became pregnant shortly after her first child, Clarence was born, after being involved with a man named Edward Jordan, whom she would later describe as a “player.”
By this point, Franklin was only 14 years old and already had two children, Clarence and Edward. Her grandmother and sister would take turns watching the two boys as Franklin’s career exploded in the coming years.
2. Edward Franklin Is Also a Singer & Has Performed Several Duets With His Mother
Edward Franklin inherited the gift of singing from his mother, and has performed with her publicly on several occasions, singing a Christmas duet (as seen above) at one point.
After Franklin passed away, Edward reportedly paid tribute to his grandfather by singing one of his mother’s favorite gospel songs, “His Eye Is On a Sparrow.” Edward, also known as ‘Eddie,’ reportedly brought the house down, receiving a standing ovation from the audience that left many crying, per the Detroit News.
3. In 2010, Edward Franklin Was Severely Attacked & Beaten by Three Men at a Gas Station in Detroit
In 2010, Edward Franklin was at a Detroit gas station with a woman when he was attacked by two men and a woman. The woman, Gwendolyn Quinn, said that she went into the station and when she came back outside, Franklin had been badly injured.
Franklin was taken to the hospital and even had to undergo surgery, though the details of his injury were not disclosed to the public. However, investigators were told that Franklin was able to walk out of the hospital. Neither Franklin nor his mother made any public comment about the incident. However, Franklin’s lawyer at the time, William Mitchel III, did say that Edward was the type of person who needs “support care – people to get him around from this place to that place,” according to The Telegraph, and also added that “Mrs. Franklin is very, very, very, very, very protective of him,” though he did not explain what that meant.
4. Edward Franklin Was Also Considered a Suspect in a 2002 Arson Fire at Aretha Franklin’s Home
In 2002, Edward Franklin was reportedly named as one of the suspects in a 2002 fire at Aretha Franklin’s 10,000 home in Detroit.
According to Billboard, traces of accelerants were found in some of the remains of Aretha Franklin’s home, and were also found on Edward Franklin’s clothing. However, Franklin’s lawyer, Mitchell, said that the chemicals on his clothing were simply the result of his contact with materials used for storage. Edward Franklin was never charged for anything related to the incident.
5. Edward’s Other Brother, Teddy, Is Also Involved in Music
Many of the Franklin boys have an aptitude for music: Teddy Richards, Edward Franklin’s younger brother, is also a singer and performer who has worked with his mother and also on his own solo projects.
In 2015, Aretha Franklin said of raising her four sons to CNN, “My sons grew up pretty much the same way I did. Today, its different. Most mothers in the African American community are very concerned about their children and talking to them about how to conduct themselves.”