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Celebs, personalities pay homage to ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin in wake of her passing

/ 10:02 AM August 17, 2018

People gather at a makeshift memorial at the nameplate for singer Aretha Franklin outside the Apollo Theater Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in New York. Franklin died in her home in Detroit at age 76 from pancreatic cancer. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The undisputed “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin passed away in the morning of Aug. 16, Thursday. Franklin, who has been battling pancreatic cancer for many years, was in the presence of her family in Detroit at the time of her death.

READ: ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died

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Franklin sang her way through America’s history, starting out as a professional singer and pianist in her late teens. By her mid-20s, she was already a superstar. She has sold millions of copies of her records and went on to win 18 Grammy awards. She, too, was the first, woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, a year earlier than The Beatles.

Franklin’s voice has graced the lives of many eminent leaders of history, one of which was the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who was her longtime friend. She, too, has performed at the inaugurations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, as well as Barack Obama. Today, her death comes as a blow to those whose lives she moved.

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Former US President Barack Obama took to his Twitter on Aug. 17 (Aug. 16 in the United States) and paid homage to the soul institution herself.

“Aretha helped define the American experience,” wrote Barack. “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. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace.”

Former first lady of the US Michelle Obama also took to her Twitter to pay her respects.

“Watching Aretha Franklin perform at the White House, and on so many other occasions, made time stand still,” wrote Michelle. “@BarackObama and I are holding Aretha’s family in our hearts right now. She will forever be our Queen of Soul.”

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Lady Gaga also took to her Twitter to mourn the queen.

“What beautiful music and vocal artistry you gave to the world,” wrote Lady Gaga. “You are a legend and your soul will never be forgotten. Rest in peace angel of music. #ArethaFranklin.”

Pop superstar Ariana Grande, meanwhile, shared a gif of Franklin singing in her younger years. She, too, shared a picture she had taken with Franklin herself. It was reported by TMZ on Aug. 17 (Aug. 16 in the United States) that Grande broke down after singing a tribute to Franklin on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”.

Vangie Williams, a candidate for Congress in Virginia’s 1st District, honored Franklin as well.

“The world lost a true icon today,” wrote Williams. “Aretha Franklin was the Queen of Soul and had one of the greatest voices to ever grace the airwaves.”

“Though losing her hurts, her music will remain with us forever. May you rest in peace.”

Irish musician Hozier, on the other hand, was devastated over Franklin’s death.

He wrote, “Devastated to hear of the loss of Aretha Franklin. Like so many others expressing their sadness today, I owe to her more joy and love of music itself than I’d ever be able to put into words. I’m so grateful for her work and legacy. RIP.”

Meanwhile, a certain Will Caldwell (@willbcaldwell) took to Twitter on Aug. 17 (Aug. 16 in the US) to share a tribute happening in the streets of Harlem in New York for the departed Franklin.

“Happening now, Harlem,” wrote the netizen, sharing a video clip of a crowd of people gathering outside the Apollo Theater, a music hall noted as a venue for African-American performers.

The theater’s signage read: “Honoring Apollo legend Aretha Franklin. 1942-2018.”

Rest well Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul. Respect. Cody Cepeda /ra

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TAGS: African American, apartheid, Aretha Franklin, black history, Queen of Soul, racism, Soul Music
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