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Carl Ellan Kelley: Unveiling the Life and Legacy of Aretha Franklin's Sister

Published Thu Dec 07 2023 By Bsgurung
Carl Ellan Kelley: Unveiling the Life and Legacy of Aretha Franklin's Sister

Carl Ellan Kelley, Aretha Franklin's sister, led a life of obscurity and challenges. Born to a renowned preacher and civil rights activist, her early years lacked parental care. Despite a difficult upbringing, she found solace in music, much like her sister. 

Though not achieve Aretha's fame, her life reflects the resilience and the transformative power of music in overcoming adversity. Carl Ellan Kelley's story underscores the quiet strength within familial ties and the indelible impact of a challenging past on shaping one's journey. Her tale, though in the shadows, contributes a unique note to the symphony of Aretha Franklin's legacy.

Was Car Ellan Kelly Married? 

Carl Ellan Kelley, Aretha Franklin's sister, maintained a secretive personal life, leaving her relationship status shrouded in mystery. Despite efforts to uncover details about her romantic life, she successfully kept her husband or partner's identity hidden from the public and media.

Carl Ellan Kelley parents
Image: Carl Ellan Kelley's father and mother in the frame. Source: Facebook

The elusive nature of Kelley extended to her two children, Herman E. Wheatley III and Charles G. Smith, adding to the enigma. The reasons behind her discretion remain puzzling, preventing any concrete speculations about her romantic partner. The tight wrap around her personal life leaves a lingering question mark, adding an intriguing dimension to the lesser-known aspects of her story.

Get to Know Her Parents

Carl Ellan Kelley, born on November 17, 1940, was the daughter of C.L. Franklin and Mildred Jennings. C.L. Franklin and Mildred had a controversial relationship, starting when Mildred was just 12 years old and pregnant with Carl. 

Although not married, they shared a romantic involvement during their time at the same Memphis church, where C.L. Franklin served as the pastor. After Carl's birth, Mildred was separated from her, and Carl was raised by her grandmother. 

The relationship between C.L. Franklin and Mildred Jennings is viewed within a larger context of sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse affecting Black girls and women.

How Many Siblings Does Carl Ellan Kelley Have? 

Carl Ellan Kelley, the half-sister of Aretha Franklin, shares parentage with five other half-siblings. Among them, Rev Cecil Franklin, born on December 26, 1989, stood out as a gospel singer and minister. 

Erma Franklin and Carolyn Franklin, also half-sisters, were acclaimed singer-songwriters akin to Aretha. The roster extends to include Clark E Turner and Vaughn Franklin, though details about their personal and professional lives remain undisclosed.

Together, this musical lineage forms a dynamic family with diverse talents, where each sibling contributed to the world of music in their unique way, leaving a collective legacy within the Franklin family. 

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Aretha Franklin's Sister, Carl Ellan Kelley Died in 2019

Carl Ellan Kelley, Aretha Franklin's daughter, passed away on January 30, 2019, at the age of seventy-nine. The cause of her death, initially a mystery, was later revealed to be heart failure. Kelley had struggled with heart problems before her demise, suggesting underlying cardiovascular issues. 

Her obituary, available on the Memorial Park Funeral Home & Cemetery website, details her birth information and mentions surviving children, grandchildren, and siblings. The revelation of her cause of death brings transparency to her departure, adding a poignant note to the life story of the lesser-known yet significant member of the Franklin family.

Get To Know Her Sister, Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin, the "Queen of Soul," was a legendary American singer and songwriter born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee. With a career spanning over six decades, Franklin's powerful and emotive voice made her an iconic figure in the realms of soul, gospel, and R&B music. 

Her unrivaled talent yielded timeless hits like "Respect," "Think," and "I Say a Little Prayer." Franklin earned numerous accolades, including 18 Grammy Awards, and became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

Beyond her musical prowess, she stood as a symbol of empowerment and civil rights, leaving an indelible mark on the world of music and culture.

Carl Ellan Kelley's Net Worth 

Details about Carl Ellan Kelley's net worth are unavailable online, leaving her financial status undisclosed. In contrast, her half-sister, the iconic Aretha Franklin, possessed an impressive net worth of $10 million at the time of her passing. 

Aretha Franklin singing
Image: Aretha Franklin performing live. Source: NBC News

Aretha's wealth emanated from a prolific music career, marked by global record sales exceeding 75 million, successful concerts, and lucrative tours. 

Additionally, her enduring legacy contributes to ongoing earnings through song royalties on platforms like YouTube and Spotify, where she maintains over 13 million monthly listeners with a billion streams. Aretha Franklin's financial success reflects her unparalleled impact on the music industry.

Her Age, Bio, and Early Years

Mildred Jennings, a member of C.L. Franklin's congregation, gave birth to Carl, Aretha Franklin's half-sister. C.L. Franklin, born on January 22, 1915, in Mississippi, was an influential American Baptist minister and civil rights activist. 

Serving as the pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit from 1946 until being shot in 1979, he earned the moniker "man with the million-dollar voice" for his compelling preaching. 

Unfortunately, C.L. Franklin passed away on July 27, 1984, at 69, leaving a profound legacy in both religious and civil rights realms, remembered for his impactful contributions to American society.

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