Music News

Previously unheard Aretha Franklin recording released in commemoration of Juneteenth

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Today, a never-before-heard solo version of Aretha Franklin‘s “Never Gonna Break My Faith” was released featuring background vocals from the Boys Choir of Harlem, to commemorate Juneteenth.

The Grammy-winning song, which was co-written by Canadian rocker Bryan Adams, was previously released as a collaboration with Mary J. Blige for the 2006 movie Bobby. Its soulful lyrics about race and faith remain poignant, amid ongoing demonstrations against systematic racism and police brutality.

Adams reveals that he recently sent the solo version of “Never Gonna Break My Faith,” which had been stored on his computer for years, to Aretha’s longtime producer Clive Davis after he heard Davis was working on a biopic about the Queen of Soul’s life.

“The world hasn’t heard her full performance and it really needed to be heard,” Bryan says. “I’m so glad it’s being released, the world needs this right now.”

Davis, meanwhile, says of the track, “Aretha’s performance is chilling. When you read the song’s lyric, and its relevance to what is happening today, it will shake every fiber in your body. Everyone should hear this record. It deserves to be an anthem.”

Aretha’s solo version of “Never Gonna Break My Faith” is available now as a digital single and via streaming services. You also can listen to it at Franklin’s official YouTube channel.

By Rachel George and Matt Friedlander
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