Rolling Stone lists ‘Respect’ as the greatest song of all time

click to enlarge Franklin performing at the Kennedy Center Honors Ceremony in 2015, moments before the "fur coat drop." - Screen grab
Screen grab
Franklin performing at the Kennedy Center Honors Ceremony in 2015, moments before the "fur coat drop."

Rolling Stone magazine has released an update of its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and we’re not surprised to see that Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” topped the list as the absolute best.

After all, the Queen of Soul’s voice was declared a natural resource in 1985 by the state of Michigan, and she was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “Respect” found new life this summer with the highly anticipated release of Franklin’s biopic of the same name. Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” was also featured at No. 90 on the list.

Detroit was well-represented on the top of the list, with the always relevant Motown hit “What’s Going On?” by Marvin Gaye sitting at the No. 6 spot.

When Rolling Stone last published this list in 2003, “What’s Going on?” and “Respect” were No. 4 and 5 on the list, respectively. The 2021 list has been expanded to include more pop, hip-hop, and latin pop songs.

Of course, 500 songs is quite a lot, and Franklin and Gaye aren’t the only Detroiters represented on the list. There are several Motown hits that made the cut including “Baby Love” by The Supremes at No. 499, The Four Tops’ “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” at No. 78, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’ “Tracks of my Tears” at No. 54 and The Temptations’ “My Girl” lands at No. 43.

Slim Shady found his way onto the list with his fan obsessed single “Stan” landing at No. 223 and his 8 Mile anthem, “Lose Yourself,” at No. 167.

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About The Author

Alex Washington

Born and raised on Detroit's Westside, Alex Washington is about as Detroit as they come. She judges your coney island order and serves a mean side-eye when anything across Eight Mile is called "Detroit." Her writing has been published in Real Detroit Weekly, The Detroit Free Press, Model D, BLAC magazine, and...
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