The music industry lost a legend early Thursday morning. At 9:50AM, Aretha Franklin “The Queen of Soul” was pronounced dead at 76 from advanced pancreatic cancer.
Obama shared touching remarks over Twitter that Aretha helped define the American experience.
Countless other musicians and notable individuals who were touched by her life and music also took to twitter to share their condolences and tributes.
Over the course of a professional career that spanned more than half a century, Franklin’s songs not only topped the charts but became part of the vernacular.
She made “Respect,” written by Otis Redding, a call to arms. “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” a Carole King song, was an earthy expression of sexuality. “Think,” which she wrote with her then-husband, Ted White, became a rallying cry for women fed up with loutish men.
The first woman admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she had 88 Billboard chart hits during the rock era, tops among female vocalists. At the peak of her career — from 1967 to 1975 — she had more than two dozen Top 40 hits.
Photos: ‘The Queen of Soul’: Aretha Franklin in photos
“Aretha Franklin is not only the definitive female soul singer of the Sixties,” according to her Rolling Stone biography, “she’s also one of the most influential and important voices in pop history.”
She won 18 Grammy awards, including the honor for best female R&B performance for eight straight years.
Re-connect and reminisce with Franklin’s legacy below.