A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like) – Aretha Franklin | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#8) and R&B (#2); 1967

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Aretha Franklin spent the first years of her recording career waxing a lot of Tin Pan Alley standards for Columbia Records; a label completely removed from contemporary rock ‘n’ roll and soul culture. Fortunately, music maven Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records knew Aretha’s greatness lay in gospel.

His label signed her in October, 1966, and five months later I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Loved You) topped the R&B chart for seven weeks. Her next five singles also reached #1 on the rhythm list: including the soul classics Respect, Baby I Love You, and Chain Of Fools.

Smack in the middle of the #1’s was one #2: A Natural Woman. Wexler’s co-writers, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, who had specialized in writing teen anthems, were finding it difficult to transition to adult material.

Wexler suggested the title, and Goffin wrote the opening line about his own lack of inspiration. A Natural Woman became a Goffin/King signature song; one that made the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Jerry Wexler

Lyrics Written by:

  • Gerry Goffin
  • Carole King
  • Jerry Wexler


  • Nominated for Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary Female Solo Vocal Performance in 1968
  • Won NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Album for the album “Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics” in 2015