Levin said he's spoken to countless musicians and entertainers over the years, and Franklin was universally respected.
Franklin's stature as a legendary musician can not be overestimated.
The news comes after Franklin's hospitalization was reported Monday.
She had been critically ill recently and had been receiving hospice care in her home.
She denied reports that she had pancreatic cancer a few years later, although later admitted to having had a tumour removed.
"This isn't the first time Aretha had us all crying".
The daughter of a Baptist minister, Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1942.
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Aretha's family have released a statement through her publicist Gwendolyn Quinn upon the event of her death today. Even in her 70s, she was still performing. In the '80s, she took on more of an elder-legend role, but she still had plenty of success. Franklins update pleaded for respect not just from her man, but from the world it was she who worked in the unforgettable "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" breakdown and "sock it to me" refrain.
So was activism. During the turbulent era in which she rose to fame, Franklin used her status to help the civil rights movement, joining forces with the key figures of the time and watching as her songs were adopted as anthems by both the civil rights and feminist movements. All further announcements will be made by her family. In a career that spanned more than 50 years, Aretha would have 20 No. 1 R&B singles, rack up 18 Grammy Awards, and sell more than 75 million records worldwide.
She was married twice and had four sons, first giving birth when she was 12 years old.
Franklin's second marriage was in 1978 to actor Glynn Turman, but the union ended in 1984. She deserves not only our RESPECT but also our lasting gratitude for opening our eyes, ears and hearts. The Rolling Stones called her their favorite singer, and Dusty Springfield signed to Atlantic because of her.
She performed at the inaugurations of two U.S. presidents, delivering a stirring rendition of "My Country 'Tis of Thee" at the January 2009 ceremony for Barack Obama, the first African-American president, while wearing a widely remarked grey hat with a big bow. "American history wells up when Aretha sings". She occasionally confided her troubles in him, but mostly, she kept them close. Other hits included "Daydreaming" and "I Say a Little Prayer". "I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now". "That wouldn't be good, for one, just to go somewhere and sit down and do nothing".
June 1972 - A live gospel album, "Amazing Grace", is released amid a revival in spiritual music.