After hearing the news of her passing, everyone from music industry icons like Paul McCartney and Carol King to Hollywood stars took to social media to honor her life and legacy. President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama were also among those expressing their condolences.
The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, is dead. She was a great woman, with a wonderful gift from God, her voice. She will be missed!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2018
Former President Barack Obama and Ms. Obama released the following statement.
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. 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 to each other, more hopeful, more human. And sometimes she helped us just 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.
Former President Bill Clinton released the following statement.
"Hillary and I mourn the loss of our friend Aretha Franklin, one of America's greatest national treasures. For more than 50 years, she stirred our souls. She was elegant, graceful, and utterly uncompromising in her artistry. Aretha's first music school was the church and her performances were powered by what she learned there. I'll always be grateful for her kindness and support, including her performances at both my inaugural celebrations, and for the chance to be there for what sadly turned out to be her final performance last November at a benefit supporting the fight against HIV/AIDS. She will forever be the Queen of Soul and so much more to all who knew her personally and through her music. Our hearts go out to her family and her countless fans."
Mourning the loss today of @ArethaFranklin who shared her spirit and talent with the world. She deserves not only our RESPECT but also our lasting gratitude for opening our eyes, ears and hearts. Rest in eternal peace, my friend.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 16, 2018
The Recording Academy released the following statement:
"Aretha Franklin was an incomparable artist who came to be recognized as one of the most profound voices in music. Known universally as the Queen of Soul, she solidified her legendary status in the late 1960s with chart-topping recordings that included "Respect," "A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like)," and "Think." During her six-decade career Aretha earned 44 GRAMMY nominations, 18 GRAMMY Awards, and was recognized by the Recording Academy on several occasions for her remarkable accomplishments as an artist and philanthropist. We were privileged to honor her with the Recording Academy's GRAMMY Legend Award in 1991, the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994, and as the 2008 MusiCares Person of the Year for her extraordinary artistic achievements and charitable efforts. Her distinctive sound, unforgettable recordings, and giving spirit will continue to be celebrated worldwide. Aretha will be dearly missed, and our thoughts go out to her loved ones during this difficult time. "
I’m sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin.— Ms. Ross (@DianaRoss) August 16, 2018
Let’s all take a moment to give thanks for the beautiful life of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of our souls, who inspired us all for many many years. She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever. Love Paul pic.twitter.com/jW4Gpwfdts— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) August 16, 2018
I’m absolutely devastated by Aretha’s passing. She was truly one of a kind. She was more than the Queen of Soul. She was a national treasure to be cherished by every generation throughout the world. (1/2)— Clive Davis (@CliveDavis) August 16, 2018
Apart from our long professional relationship, Aretha was my friend. Her loss is deeply profound and my heart is full of sadness. (2/2)— Clive Davis (@CliveDavis) August 16, 2018
Salute to the Queen. The greatest vocalist I've ever known. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 #Aretha— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 16, 2018
Deeply saddened by the passing of a beloved friend and queen/warrior Aretha Franklin. Her contributions are legendary both personally and societally. We hope you take a pause today to remember the life of a beautiful soul. pic.twitter.com/ce4ht2g0ha— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) August 16, 2018
No words. Only tears. Our Queen is gone. Long live the Queen. pic.twitter.com/LxEsQISNoZ— Diane Warren (@Diane_Warren) August 16, 2018
RESPECT. Her legendary voice came straight from God. Now her soul is with Him. Thank you Aretha. 💛💛 pic.twitter.com/Zhm1faBhX1— Fergie (@Fergie) August 16, 2018
Rest In Peace to one of the greats, Aretha Franklin. For all you’ve done, a grateful world thanks you.— Lea Salonga (@MsLeaSalonga) August 16, 2018
I’m very sad to hear about Aretha Franklin passing. She was one of the greatest and most emotional singers. I used to love listening to her in the sixties but her music is timeless. Love & Mercy to Aretha’s family and friends. pic.twitter.com/fFVKyjxIXT— Brian Wilson (@BrianWilsonLive) August 16, 2018
Aretha, your music set a standard for every single lady in this industry to rise to. You have touched minds, hearts and spirits, including my own. I pray you have a smooth journey Ree Ree and hopefully I'll get to sing with you in the Heavenly choir. Love you #QueenOfSoul pic.twitter.com/Rrw6JjDtCg— Gladys Knight (@MsGladysKnight) August 16, 2018
It is with a heavy heart that I…… that we must say goodbye to our Queen. It was a true honor to call Aretha my friend. I will always cherish my memories with her.— Billy Dee Williams (@realbdw) August 16, 2018
Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul. The Icon. The ultimate singers' singer. The greatest singer and musician of my lifetime. The power of your voice in music and in civil rights blew open the door for me and so many others. You were my inspiration, my mentor and my friend. pic.twitter.com/YDQL2zzgdM— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) August 16, 2018
I can’t believe this.... #ArethaFranklin .. although you have transitioned into the omnipresence of God, you are forever #immortal Your music lives on through all of us. Thank you so much for unchaining every door for so many of us to walk right through. #RestInPeace 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/zkLYfkUP25— b r 🎤n d Y (@4everBrandy) August 16, 2018