The Obamas with Franklin recently
Tributes have continued to pour in from politicians, celebrities and presidents from around the world for Aretha Franklin, the “queen of soul” known for hits like Respect and Think, who died in Detroit at the age of 76. The tribute makers include President Donald Trump, ex-President Barack Obama and wife, Michele, Timberlake, Britney Spears and many others The legendary singer was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and announced last year she was retiring from music.
Franklin had 17 Top Ten US chart hits over a music career spanning seven decades. The star gave her final performance last November at a gala in New York held in aid of the Elton John Aids Foundation. In a statement, her family said: “In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. “We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins knew no bounds.” The family also confirmed her death was due to advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type.
The Obamas said: “America has no royalty. But we do have a chance to earn something more enduring. Born in Memphis and raised in Detroit, Aretha Franklin grew up performing gospel songs in her father’s congregation. For more than six decades since, every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine,” the statement says.
“Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade – our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect.
“She helped us feel more connected with each other, more hopeful, more human. And sometimes she helped us forget about everything else and dance. “Aretha may have passed on to a better place, but the gift of her music remains to inspire us all. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace. Michelle and I send our prayers and warmest sympathies to her family and all those moved by her song.”
Tweets from Ivanka Trump Ivanka Trump ✔@IvankaTrump Aretha Franklin was an artistic genius and trailblazer whose gift to the world transcends time. Long live the Queen of Soul as we pass her music on from generation to generation. May she Rest In Peace.
Britney Spears ✔@britneyspears The world lost an incredibly talented woman today. Rest In Peace, @ArethaFranklin… your legacy and music will forever inspire us and future generations 4:49 PM – Aug 16, 2018
Justin Timberlake ✔@jtimberlake This is the face of a young man who couldn’t believe he was actually singing with the GREATEST OF ALL TIME. Thank you, Ms. Franklin for blessing us with your incomparable gift. Honored to have shared the stage with you even for a moment. Always bowing down to you. #QueenofSoul 4:47 PM – Aug 16, 2018
Atlantic Records, who Franklin signed with in 1967, said she was a “pillar” of the company and helped transform global culture.
“Aretha’s prodigious talent came from a place of honesty, integrity, and strength, and her boundary-breaking approach extended far beyond her music. She was a tireless champion of civil rights and social justice, and above all, a global citizen who strived her entire life to erase boundaries of race, culture, gender, and nationality,” Atlantic Records’ co-chairman Craig Kallman & Julie Greenwald said in a statement.
“All of us in the Atlantic family are deeply proud to be a part of her extraordinary legacy. Our thoughts and prayers are with her friends and family at this very difficult time.”