"(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" is a 1967 single released by American soul singer Aretha Franklin on the Atlantic label. The song was co-written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, with input from Atlantic producer Jerry Wexler. The record was a big hit for Franklin, reaching number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, and became a standard song for her. Franklin also included a live recording on the album Aretha in Paris in 1968. Versions have also been performed and recorded by King herself, Mary J. Blige, Celine Dion, and many others. At the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors, Aretha Franklin performed the song to honor award-recipient Carole King.
Written by the celebrated partnership of Gerry Goffin and Carole King, the song was inspired by Atlantic Records co-owner and producer Jerry Wexler. As recounted in his autobiography, Wexler, a student of African-American musical culture, had been mulling over the concept of the "natural man", when he drove by King on the streets of New York. He shouted out to her that he wanted a "natural woman" song for Aretha Franklin's next album. In thanks, Goffin and King granted Wexler a co-writing credit.Aretha Franklin - lead vocals
Spooner Oldham - piano
Tommy Cogbill - bass
Jimmy Johnson- guitar
King Curtis - tenor sax
Charlie Chalmers - tenor sax
Willie Bridges - baritone sax
Melvin Lastie - cornet
Gene Chrisman - drums
The Sweet Inspirations, Carolyn Franklin & Erma Franklin - background vocals
strings conducted by Ralph Burns
"Natural Woman" was released by Peggy Lipton in 1968 on her self-titled album on Ode Records, and by Freddie Hughes in 1968 as "Natural Man" (Wand Records 1192), and by George Benson on his album Goodies in 1968 (Verve Records V6-8771).
Peggy Lee released a version on her 1969 album A Natural Woman.
It was recorded by Carole King on her landmark 1971 album Tapestry. Celine Dion recorded the song in 1995 for the Tapestry Revisited: A Tribute to Carole King album, and released it as a single. Mary J. Blige also recorded the song that year for New York Undercover.
Beccy Cole covered the song live on her 2007 Live @ Lizotte's album.
Carole King and Gloria Estefan performed the song in May 2009 in the She's Got a Friend concerts at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. The audio from one of the performances was included on some editions of Estefan's 2013 album, The Standards.
In 2012, Christine Anu covered the song on her album, Rewind: The Aretha Franklin Songbook.
In December 2015, Aretha Franklin gave a universally acclaimed performance at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors during the section for honoree Carole King.
"(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" was released as a promotional single by Celine Dion in November 1995 in North America and the United Kingdom. It was featured on a tribute album to Carole King, called Tapestry Revisited: A Tribute to Carole King issued on October 24, 1995. Later, Dion included this track on most editions of her 1996 album Falling into You. The track was produced by David Foster. Dion's version enjoyed a moderate success on the adult contemporary charts, reaching number 4 in Canada and number 31 in the United States. In 2008, the song was featured on the US version of My Love: Ultimate Essential Collection. When Falling in Love won the Grammy for Album of the year in 1998, the song became the first to appear on two Album of the Year winners - following Tapestry's success in 1971.
On April 14, 1998, Dion, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Shania Twain, Gloria Estefan and Carole King performed the song during a VH1 Divas concert at the Beacon Theatre, New York. The five vocalists were recruited by the cable music network VH1 to raise money for Save the Music, their education charity. Hyped extensively in the press, the event was a ratings' winner for VH1 - so successful, in fact, that the network arranged to have the concert released on disc and tape on October 6, 1998. At that time "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (performed by all divas) was released as a radio single in selected countries.
1995 promotional CD single
- "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" – 3:40
1998 promotional CD single
- "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (live) – 5:15
- "You've Got a Friend" (live) – 5:28