Aretha Franklin has died of pancreatic cancer at her home in Detroit, Michigan on Thursday. She was 76.
“It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Aretha Louise Franklin, the queen of soul,” her publicist Gwendolyn Quinn said in an official statement. “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.”
Franklin was highly regarded as one of the most influential artists of all time. Her powerhouse vocals captivated listeners worldwide and her music had a major impact on the musical landscape. The Memphis-born icon was also known for her contribution to the civil rights movement.
Plenty of fans and celebrities alike took to social media last night to pay tribute and share their condolences to the late gospel star. Among them were former president Barack Obama, Elton John, Lenny Kravitz, Chance the Rapper and Missy Elliot.
Check out their reactions below.
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
The loss of @ArethaFranklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church. Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated – she was one of my favourite pianists. pic.twitter.com/ug5oZYywAz
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) 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
Rest easy #ARETHAFRANKLIN I imagine u in heaven performing & still making people souls move?? this was my aunt favorite record #RockSteady you will always be the Queen of Soul you been that before many of us were born! Thank you for giving us LEGENDARY TIMELESS music ??❤️ pic.twitter.com/bEueBCLGJ9
— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) August 16, 2018
The 3 seconds it takes for #ArethaFranklin to oooooze out the words “Sittin around..” is as pure & creative & as honest as any singer I’ve ever seen when a performance goes beyond mere entertainment. THIS is what we need to get back to. where raw genius rises above marketing strategy & monetary reach & “likes” (because let’s face it, look at the Billboard singles/Spotify singles/ITunes singles—-could she even find space to develop this talent? Or just give up & get a reality show and pray this works out? Now figure out the legions of talent that we either dismissed or passed on today or even the mesmerizing talent we’ve been shown near this level that can’t even begin to thrive in this environment without some angle) for those not in the know & wanna know, with the exception of her yet to be seen Sidney Pollack documentary Amazing Grace (her best captured 2 hours 1972 in chu’ch, in her zone in south central Los Angeles—-w The Rolling Stones sitting IN THE DECON SECTION)—-this Performance at the #MontreuxJazzFestival in 71 is as good as it gets: as a singer, as a bandleader (midshow she calls an audible and the brass section just gives up playing & accepts they are just happy to have best seats in the house), as a piano player—-so underrated!—and the fact she has her ace band in tow too (#KingCurtis as MD & #BernardPurdie on drizzums)—-this is her most magical effortless skillful scientific talents on display. Long Live #QueenAretha.
Rest In Peace to our Queen of Soul. Her contribution to music and to the empowerment and enrichment of our hearts, Spirits and souls is immeasurable.
Thank you Ms. Aretha Franklin for sharing your anointed gifts with us. They changed the world. We are deeply grateful!
— Ms. Lauryn Hill (@MsLaurynHill) August 16, 2018
The moment I wake up, before I put on my make up, I say a little prayer for you
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) August 16, 2018
RIP Aretha Franklin
— Gucci Mane (@gucci1017) August 16, 2018