Aretha Franklin will be laid to rest after a fitting five-and-half-hour tribute to her life, but her legacy will live forever. The “Queen Of Soul” has left her indelible mark on many a recording studio and Criteria Studios in Florida was one of her creative hubs.
Now known as the Hit Factory Criteria Miami, the studio was founded 60 years ago by Mack Emerman, and became a destination for many pop, soul and rock acts in the ’70’s.
Franklin, who primarily recorded in New York for the Atlantic Records studios, and Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala., made her way to South Florida to craft a number of hit records and albums. Her 17th studio album, Spirit In The Dark, was recorded there in 1969.
Franklin recorded her Aretha’s Greatest Hits album, released in 1971. The gold-selling cover of “Spanish Harlem” came from those sessions. 1972’s funky, groove-centered Young, Gifted, and Black, which featured her hit “Rock Steady” helped put Criteria on the map.
Along with Franklin, Michael Jackson, James Brown, Mariah Carey, Adele, The Bee Gees, Dr. Dre, Nicki Minaj, The Eagles and many others have created tracks at Criteria. In 1999, the New York City recording studio chain Hit Factory purchased Criteria, thus its new name.
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