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NewsBytes
August 18, 2018

Aretha Franklin passes away at 76

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NewsBytes
August 18, 2018

The queen of soul music with an equally controversial personal history is no more and has left a hole in the music world forever. Her death was announced on Thursday in Detroit at the age of 76. Fighting pancreatic cancer, Franklin had a career that spanned five decades.

Known world over for singing the Otis Redding song ‘Respect’, she delivered scores of Billboard hits of her own and also sang at the first inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009. Even as tributes have continued to pour in from the likes of Paul McCartney and current US President, Donald Trump, a joint statement from Barack and Michelle Obama remembers her the only way she should be.

“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,” read the statement.

It added: “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.”

The Obamas ended their statement by stating: “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 songs.”

Among her many achievements, Franklin received a number of Grammy Awards including Lifetime Achievement and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.