Aretha Franklin, the undisputed Queen of Soul, died Thursday at her Detroit home, the Associated Press reports, surrounded by family and friends. She had been battling various undisclosed illnesses for years, and, in recent weeks, was receiving hospice care. Franklin was 76.
Aretha Franklin performing the Otis Redding classic “Respect” (1967):
During the tribute to singer/songwriter Carole King at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors, Ms. Franklin brought down the house with her live performance of King’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” (composed in 1967 with King’s then-husband Gerry Goffin and Atlantic Records veep Jerry Wexler). Watch King’s surprised reaction as Franklin begins playing the piano; and notice how President Barack Obama is moved to tears just a few bars into the song.
Celebrity tributes to the Queen of Soul:
“Sometimes all you need is to hear the voice of Aretha Franklin to know there is a God.” ~ Andy Kim
“[Aretha Franklin] was one of those people who opened her mouth and out came brilliance.” ~ James Taylor
Aretha Louise Franklin
March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018
Gone, but never to be forgotten. R.I.P.