Today, we lost one of the greatest icons of music, Aretha Franklin. The legendary queen of soul and gospel music passed away at the age of 76, after a tough battle with pancreatic cancer. Aretha’s historic career dates back to the 1950s, and her legacy as an incredible singer and a fierce woman will last for generations to come.
As a child in Detroit, Aretha started singing at the local church, where her father was the Past0r. Her reputation as a gospel singer grew quickly, and she toured with Martin Luther King, Jr. when she was just 16 years old. After turning 18, she transitioned to a career in pop music, where she would continue to thrive for decades. She had 20 number-one R&B singles, including “Respect,” “Chain of Fools,” and a cover of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Her other legendary hits include standards like “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Think,” and “I Say A Little Prayer.” Basically, half the songs you sing at karaoke were sung originally (and infinitely more competently) by Aretha, so you better be grateful.
To say that Aretha Franklin was beloved would be a major understatement. She was the first woman ever inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and is also a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. She’s number one on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Singers, and she received the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. If you’re not impressed, you should also know that the state of Michigan literally declared her voice “a precious natural resource” in 1986. Who needs solar power when you have Aretha?
Aretha Franklin’s career was full of incredible moments, but my personal favorite memory is her performance at Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009. It was such an important moment in our country’s history, and Aretha was the perfect person to be there. Speaking about her legacy, Obama said “Nobody embodies more fully the connection between the African-American spiritual, the blues, R&B, rock and roll—the way that hardship and sorrow were transformed into something full of beauty and vitality and hope.”
Betches across the world are mourning the loss of Kate Spade, the iconic fashion designer who was found dead by apparent suicide in her New York City apartment this week. The name Kate Spade holds a special place in all of our hearts for its own reason. Most of us have been loyal customers to the brand she founded at some point; probably because a Kate Spade crossbody was your favorite bat mitzvah gift, a candy pink iPhone 3G case was your status symbol in high school, or one of the classic leather work bags was your first true grown-betch purse.
Although it’s easy associate Kate’s legacy with peonies and cheerful baubles shaped like French Bulldogs, it’s important to remember that it is actually so more than that. Kate Spade was one of the original HBICs, way before Homegoods started selling mugs that said “girl boss” on them and we were all selling shampoo on our Instagram stories. I mean, let’s be real. Most of those mugs are rip-offs of Kate Spade New York designs, anyway.
According to the New York Times, Kate Spade created her empire from her one bedroom apartment in Manhattan. At the time, she was an accessories editor at Mademoiselle magazine who was tired of everyone’s gaudy handbags, and decided to create her own line of essential designs instead. In New York, if you’re not underpaid, sick of everyone’s shit, and living in a little apartment, you at least know 100 betches who are, and Kate was able to spin that situation around into a multi-billion dollar empire.
Kate was known for being super fun and hilarious, and as if her colorful lifestyle brand wasn’t evidence enough, her friends and fam vouched for her, too.
Katy at my book signing. I love this pic of her. So pretty. I dont think everyone knew how fucking funny she was… Its a rough world out there people. Try to hang on pic.twitter.com/2kRPvGvj8w
— David Spade (@DavidSpade) June 6, 2018
Kate’s influence is totally undeniable. She basically looked at the fashion industry, was like, “you guys are boring me,” and inspired a culture of party girls who can color block their asses off and drink mimosas out of cute tumblers. Rest in peace, Kate Spade.
Images: Getty Images; David Spade / Twitter
The world lost a total TV legend on Wednesday. The OG sitcom queen Mary Tyler Moore died at age 80.
If you’re like, wait, who is Mary Tyler Moore, then you seriously need to educate yourself in betch history. Moore shot to stardom as a TV wife on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Let’s be real, Dick Van Dyke was kind of a hottie way back when, so props to her for landing a hot TV husband.
It wasn’t until she took the role as Mary Richards in The Mary Tyler Moore Show that she became a betch icon. For those of you who think “classic television” means the era of Boy Meets World, here’s a lesson for you. Mary, who played Mary (power move), basically led the way for women to have real jobs and not be stuck at home taking care of a shitty husband and kids.
At a point in history when college was basically designed for women to get MRS degrees, Mary played a breakthrough character who not only went to college, but had a career and lived alone in a big city (Minneapolis). She was the Carrie Bradshaw before Carrie Bradshaw. Though, I causally think Mary had better style.
Instead of just pining over dudes episode after episode, Mary had a real life with concerns about her job as a TV news producer and real friendships with other women. She discussed birth control, equal pay, and sexual independence before it was cool. I mean, this shit is still considered progressive now, in 2017, so imagine how groundbreaking it was back in 1970. Mary basically paved the way for all of us betches to have jobs we sometimes really like, not have babies if we don’t want them, and date because it’s fun and not because we need a husband to support us.
Plus, if you’ve ever spun around and thrown your hat in the air because you saw it on TV one time, it’s because you saw Mary Tyler Moore do it in the opening credits to the show. Absolutely iconic. Like really, if you need a new show to watch I’m pretty sure the whole series is on Hulu.
It wasn’t just the character that made her a kween. Mary was an actress, sure, but she led the way for many women on TV and also inspired some other major icons. Oprah legit freaked out when Mary surprised her with a visit to The Oprah Winfrey Show, and no betch can freak out like the big O. Oprah is so many people’s hero, and MTM was Oprah’s hero. That’s just levels of awesomeness right there, people.
She was also into charity. Like, this woman is and was a saint for sure. Mary was chairwoman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International and often spoke about her own struggles with Type I Diabetes. She was a vegetarian and fought for animal rights. Plus, she established a fund for an arts scholarship.
Rest in peace, Queen Mary. Our TVs will never be the same.