1. ‘Respect’ by Aretha Franklin
Originally by: Otis Redding
Otis Redding originally released it in 1965, but the true power of this song wasn’t unlocked until two years later, when a rising R&B singer named Aretha Franklin turned it into an irrepressible feminist anthem. Franklin’s version also added what has become one of the tune’s most iconic passages (say it with us now: R-E-S-P-E-C-T). It became the signature song of the Queen of Soul, a tune that twisted its original ‘respect your man’ message into the ultimate and most enduring song about female empowerment of all time. Respect indeed.