Aretha Franklin, the undisputed "Queen of Soul" who sang with matchless style on such classics as "Think", "I Say a Little Prayer" and her signature song, "Respect", and stood as a cultural icon around the globe, has died at age 76 from advance pancreatic cancer. Stevie Wonder visited Franklin in her home this week while she was in hospice care.
'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.
The next year, she traveled to Alabama to record - but went AWOL after an altercation with a white horn player and only agreed to finish the sessions back in NY, according to the biography.
Aretha's contribution to music was set in stone in 1987 when she became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her death reverberated so deeply that an incredible array of people from around the world, from United States presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama to musicians Paul McCartney and Diana Ross, took to social media to pay tribute.
Franklin also sang at the 2009 inaguaration of former President Barack Obama, who described her as someone who "helped define the American experience". We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on.
Her records sold millions of copies and the music industry couldn't honor her enough.
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There was the time she clapped back at a New York Post columnist who assumed how Aretha related to her bosom.
"The gal singer, who as had one single disk so far on the Columbia label has a fine strong voice that bears emotional fruit when it is channeled into the material she knows and feels best".
She went on to have a string of hits, among them I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You), Respect and (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.
Among those in the congregation were Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson. But in pointing away from some of the righteous power of those songs, it throws into relief the full architecture of her artistry, foregrounding some of her less-appreciated secret weapons and reminding us of her consummate musicianship and good taste. She sang the national anthem before Game 1 of the 1993 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Toronto Blue Jays. Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated - she was one of my favourite pianists.
She died at her home in Detroit on Thursday, her publicist told AP news agency. President George W. Bush awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. I will always be grateful for her support of my father and the civil rights movement through the years.