Remembering Aretha: Offering Nothing But RESPECT For The Queen Of Soul
The singer passed away after battling pancreatic cancer.
Aretha Franklin passed away at 9:50 am local time at her home in Detroit on August 16, 2018, due to advanced pancreatic cancer. She was 76. After hearing the news, stars and fans have paid Aretha Franklin tribute on social media.
In a statement, her family said:
"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. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds."We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time."
Known as "the Queen of Soul", Aretha's contributions to music history are nothing short of legendary. Over a professional career spanning seven decades, she has won 18 Grammy awards, including eight back-to-back awards for the best female R&B performance.
Aretha has had 88 Billboard chart hits, and was the first woman admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her emotional voice had the power to transform songs and the way we listened to them. Otis Redding's "Respect" became a feminist and civil rights anthem. The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" became an almost heroic figure. Audrey Hepburn's "Moon River" became a soulful swinger of a song.
Aretha Franklin's role in the Civil Rights Movement
Franklin's impact on the world was not limited to music and the arts. She used her art as a platform for social justice, refusing to perform for segregated audiences. Her music broke barriers, with people of all races and walks of life coming to concerts.
In the 70s, Aretha even offered to pay bail for political activist Angela Davis, who was arrested after guns used in a failed attempt to free a black revolutionary were allegedly traced back to her. Though Davis was not eligible for bail at the time, the activist never forgot Aretha's kind offer. (Davis was released two years later on a $102,500 bail.)
Her health issues caused her to lie low in recent years. Following the cancellation of two shows in 2010 due to abdominal pain, she was diagnosed with an "unspecified illness" in 2010. This was widely reported to be pancreatic cancer, but this was not confirmed until after she performed in November 2017 for Elton John's Aids Foundation concert — her last live performance.
Stars have emerged to express their grief and pay Aretha Franklin tribute on social media.
This photo was taken in 2012 when Aretha & I performed at a tribute celebration for our friend Marvin Hamlisch. It’s difficult to conceive of a world without her. Not only was she a uniquely brilliant singer,but her commitment to civil rights made an indelible impact on the world pic.twitter.com/Px9zVB90MM
— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) August 16, 2018
Salute to the Queen. The greatest vocalist I've ever known. ?????????? #Aretha
— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 16, 2018
The Queen of Soul has left this earth to sit on her throne in heaven. How blessed we were to hear the best that God had to offer in her voice. RESPECT!
?: Mark Seliger pic.twitter.com/v9OxtyrZ74
— Lenny Kravitz (@LennyKravitz) August 16, 2018
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. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace. pic.twitter.com/bfASqKlLc5
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) 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