Wednesday, June 12, 2024

The Ultimate Mother’s Day Gift with the Queen of Soul, The Exclusive Release of ‘Aretha Cool: The Intimate Portraits’

Aretha Franklin, photographed by Matthew Jordan Smith (Photo Credit: Matthew Jordan Smith Photography)
Aretha Franklin photographed by Matthew Jordan Smith

*This Mother’s Day, present a gift as unique and soulful as The Queen of Soul, with the release of Aretha Cool: The Intimate Portraits, available both in limited-edition and the standard version.

Captured by renowned celebrity, fashion, and beauty photographer Matthew Jordan Smith, both editions provide an unparalleled glimpse into the last chapter of Aretha Franklin’s life, celebrating her legendary artistry and her virtuosity as a music icon.

The limited edition of Aretha Cool: The Intimate Portraits celebrates the monumental legacy of Aretha Franklin with a luxurious and exclusive tribute. Limited to one hundred copies, with only forty-seven remaining, this edition is a rare collector’s item and is available exclusively at

Each limited-edition book in this series is a testament to exclusivity and luxury, making it a perfect and thoughtful tribute this Mother’s Day for the special and extraordinary woman or woman in your life.

The limited edition promises a deeper, more personal connection to Aretha’s legacy, encapsulated in a beautifully crafted package that reflects her spirit and style.

Matthew Jordan Smith's new book, "Aretha Cool: The Intimate Portraits" (Photo Credit: Matthew Jordan Smith Photography)
Matthew Jordan Smith’s new book, “Aretha Cool: The Intimate Portraits” (Photo Credit: Matthew Jordan Smith Photography)

Highlights of the limited edition include a never-before-seen, signed, and numbered archival print of Aretha, offering a unique look at the icon; an elegant pink book cover with an acrylic print, housed in a beautiful clamshell box—both the case and the limited edition are individually numbered and signed; a groundbreaking Ugokugraph, a moving image exclusively created by Matthew Jordan Smith, signed and numbered as part of this limited series; and a pink USB drive containing exclusive audio stories by the author, offering personal insights in his voice, enhancing the connection to the portraits and stories within.

The standard edition is also a beautifully crafted 256-page coffee table book that takes the reader on a journey from 2005 to 2018, highlighting the unique relationship between Smith and Franklin. The photographs illustrate not only the musical genius of The Queen of Soul but also her profound influence on culture, women’s empowerment, civil rights, and history. Aretha Cool is more than a book; it’s a celebration of a voice that resonated across generations and continents, a tribute to the emotional depth and impact of Aretha’s music. The standard edition of Aretha Cool can be purchased on Amazon.

Matthew Jordan Smith with Aretha Franklin (Photo Courtesy of Matthew Jordan Smith Photography)
Matthew Jordan Smith with Aretha Franklin, photograph from Smith’s new book, “Aretha Cool: The Intimate Portraits” (Photo Credit: Matthew Jordan Smith Photography).

“A mother’s memory is a timeless treasure, celebrated daily with love and gratitude,” says Matthew Jordan Smith. “Let ‘Aretha Cool’ be your Mother’s Day anthem, a tribute to her love and strength echoed in Aretha’s powerful legacy.”

This Mother’s Day, choose a gift that resonates with history, music, and art. Aretha Cool: The Intimate Portraits is more than a book; it’s an heirloom that celebrates the immense influence and personal journey of The Queen of Soul.

Matthew Jordan Smith was raised in New York City and Columbia, South Carolina. He works regularly in Los Angeles, New York, and Tokyo, Japan. He is the author of Sepia Dreams: A Celebration of Black Achievement Through Words and Images (St. Martin’s Publishing Group), Lost and Found (Filipacchi Publishing), and Future American President: 50 States, 100 Families, Infinite Dreams (Goff Books). He has photographed some of the world’s most famous people, from icons such as Oprah Winfrey to Zendaya, Quincy Jones to George Lucas, Angelina Jolie to Angela Bassett, Sofia Vergara to Samuel L. Jackson, Queen Latifah to Courtney B. Vance, Tyra Banks to Britney Spears, and even Albert II, Prince of Monaco, and many others.

Aretha Cool: The Intimate Portraits (ISBN – 979-8-218-27863-2) is available on Amazon for the standard version, for the limited-edition book, and for international orders (English) purchases and inquiries, please visit

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