Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin poses on the red carpet before the 38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 6, 2015. (Molly Riley/AFP/Getty Images)

Aretha Franklin’s famed 1967 rendition of “Respect” has been lauded as the greatest song of all time, according to Rolling Stone magazine’s most recent poll listing the 500 best songs ever.

The late icon’s song, a cover of fellow soul music legend Otis Redding’s hit from two years prior, was tops among a poll of more than 250 artists, writers and industry figures, the magazine said.

It was the first time since 2004 the magazine had updated the list.

The top three songs — Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” and Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” — are all by African American acts, knocking the former no. 1, Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” down to fourth on the list.

The Top 10

1. “Respect” – Aretha Franklin (2004 position – #5)
2. “Fight the Power” – Public Enemy (#322)
3. “A Change Is Gonna Come” – Sam Cooke (#12)
4. “Like a Rolling Stone” – Bob Dylan (#1)
5. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – Nirvana (#9)
6. “What’s Going On” – Marvin Gaye (#4)
7. “Strawberry Fields Forever” – The Beatles (#76)
8. “Get Ur Freak On” – Missy Elliott (N/A)
9. “Dreams” – Fleetwood Mac (N/A)
10. “Hey Ya!” – Outkast (#180)

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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