For any press inquiries regarding the release of, “The Queen Next Door”, please contact Jake Serwer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Crain’s Detroit Business
"I waited for her outside as she arrived and asked if I could take one photograph," Solomon recalled last week. "I promised it was one photo. I told her 'I'm so happy you're back home.'"
Franklin consented, and Solomon snapped the photo and followed the singer inside. Thus began a decades-long friendship and hundreds of photographs over the years — backstage moments, on-stage moments and scores in between with Franklin, her family and her friends. Soon after Solomon's column was published, the photographer received an invitation to attend a reception in Franklin's honor from Mayor Coleman Young.
Solomon shot Aretha extensively in the 1980s, often for her column in The Detroit News, and some of those photos appear in the book. But most of the photos have never been published, including candids of Aretha relaxing with family and friends, at parties or backstage. It also includes examples of invitations to parties that Aretha would write out and address by hand. Solomon was fortunate to meet and became friendly with the Queen of Soul at a time – the 1980s – when the singer, fearful of air travel, was sticking close to home. “She brought the music industry back to Detroit in the '80s, because she didn’t travel,” Solomon said. “She would have producers coming here, and did her recording, music videos and major projects here in those years.”
“I wanted the book to look like an album she would have had on her coffee table, including her invitations, menus and photos,” Solomon said. “I only included photos that have never been seen – very rare experiences with her, from birthday parties, family holiday parties, rehearsals – I even have some from her son's college graduation with the MSU cheerleaders. She was so proud.”
Solomon noted she had very rare access to Franklin not only because of their friendship, but she always took film photos, and used her camera sparingly.