'So much love, respect and gratitude': Tributes flood in for Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul
Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Carole King, Elton John among the celebrities honouring Franklin
Today the world lost one the titans of popular music, an artist so revered that her title, the Queen of Soul, went entirely unchallenged. Aretha Franklin was 76 years old.
Over the course of her career Franklin had dozens of hits, among them Respect, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, I Say a Little Prayer, Chain of Fools, Ain't No Way, Think, The House That Jack Built, I Knew You Were Waiting and Freeway of Love, to name just a few.
She performed for presidents, won 18 Grammys, and sold out shows wherever she traveled until last year, when doctors ordered her off the road.
She also had the unwavering respect of musicians, actors, artists, directors, politicians and other celebrities around the globe, and today tributes are flooding in on social media.
Smokey Robinson, Paul McCartney, Carole King, Hugh Jackman, Shania Twain, Elton John, Shonda Rhimes, Al Sharpton, Annie Lennox, Diana Ross and Bill Clinton are just a few of the luminaries paying their respects.
"This morning my longest friend in this world went home to be with our Father," wrote soul legend Smokey Robinson. "I will miss her so much but I know she's at peace."
This morning my longest friend in this world went home to be with our Father. I will miss her so much but I know she’s at peace. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/QueenOfSoul?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#QueenOfSoul</a> <a href="https://t.co/UatS3U3YXe">pic.twitter.com/UatS3U3YXe</a>—@smokey_robinson
"I know that the heavenly choir is welcoming Aretha Franklin with open arms," wrote R&B icon Aaron Neville. "She was definitely the Queen of Soul."
The family of late soul legend Otis Redding, who penned the original version of Respect, also paid tribute. "Rest in Power, Ms. Aretha," reads the tweet. "You were the Queen. Your rendition of 'Respect' launched a revolution."
Rest in Power, Ms. Aretha. You were the Queen. Your rendition of “Respect” launched a revolution. Our condolences go out to the Franklin family and all of her fans worldwide. - The Redding Family <a href="https://t.co/GzudOmBH5M">https://t.co/GzudOmBH5M</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ArethaFranklin?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ArethaFranklin</a>—@OtisRedding
A younger generation of stars, from Christina Aguilera to Kelly Clarkson, also expressed their deep appreciation for Franklin, and cited her as an essential influence.
Aretha Franklin is the reason why I sing from that part deep inside of me that few could ever reach. She was my favorite and will always be. What a gift she has left all of us with her musical footprints. There will never be another like her. She was truly special. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/QueenOfSoul?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#QueenOfSoul</a>—@kelly_clarkson
Aretha was such a timeless inspiration to me and so many others, the ultimate queen, thank you for the gift of your voice, music and unshakeable soul 🙏🏼 <a href="https://t.co/me3FXBY4WZ">pic.twitter.com/me3FXBY4WZ</a>—@xtina
Country icon Shania Twain was among the Canadian stars to pay their respects.
An unbelievable woman and voice. It was an honor to meet and perform with the Queen of Soul. RIP Aretha Franklin ❤️💔<a href="https://t.co/BQBtdPuoZO">https://t.co/BQBtdPuoZO</a>—@ShaniaTwain
Franklin performed at many U.S. Democratic Party political events, and Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Reverend Al Sharpton were among the political powerhouses to pay their respects, along with current president Donald Trump.
Like people all around the world, Hillary and I are thinking about Aretha Franklin tonight & listening to her music that has been such an important part of our lives the last 50 years. We hope you’ll lift her up by listening and sharing her songs that have meant the most to you.—@BillClinton
Deeply saddened by the passing of a beloved friend and queen/warrior Aretha Franklin. Her contributions are legendary both personally and societally. We hope you take a pause today to remember the life of a beautiful soul. <a href="https://t.co/ce4ht2g0ha">pic.twitter.com/ce4ht2g0ha</a>—@TheRevAl
Mourning the loss today of <a href="https://twitter.com/ArethaFranklin?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ArethaFranklin</a> who shared her spirit and talent with the world. She deserves not only our RESPECT but also our lasting gratitude for opening our eyes, ears and hearts. Rest in eternal peace, my friend.—@HillaryClinton
The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, is dead. She was a great woman, with a wonderful gift from God, her voice. She will be missed!—@realDonaldTrump
Even U.S. space organization NASA paid their respects, saying that the asteroid named after Franklin will continue on its orbit.
We’re saddened by the loss of Aretha Franklin. Asteroid 249516 Aretha, found by our NEOWISE mission and named after the singer to commemorate the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/QueenOfSoul?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#QueenOfSoul</a>, will keep orbiting beyond Mars. See more details: <a href="https://t.co/NlW4vkmKDq">https://t.co/NlW4vkmKDq</a> <a href="https://t.co/yZ0E5ofSQT">pic.twitter.com/yZ0E5ofSQT</a>—@NASA
Here are some of the many, many other high-profile tributes to the Queen of Soul:
So much talent, so much music. It was a gift to work with her. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/riparethafranklin?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#riparethafranklin</a> <a href="https://t.co/2lHK1IjvYI">https://t.co/2lHK1IjvYI</a> <a href="https://t.co/7YniUThSTJ">pic.twitter.com/7YniUThSTJ</a>—@shondarhimes
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 <a href="https://t.co/Px9zVB90MM">pic.twitter.com/Px9zVB90MM</a>—@BarbraStreisand
She made millions feel like natural women, and she earned our everlasting Respect with each performance. May Aretha Franklin’s voice ring now throughout the heavens. She truly was the Queen of Soul. Rest In Peace, o great one.—@GeorgeTakei
One of the highlights of my career was singing with <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ArethaFranklin?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ArethaFranklin</a> at The Tony Awards. It was an out of body experience for me. One of greatest singers of all time. You will be missed by all. <a href="https://t.co/L8dIIhyR9Y">https://t.co/L8dIIhyR9Y</a>—@RealHughJackman
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 <a href="https://t.co/jW4Gpwfdts">pic.twitter.com/jW4Gpwfdts</a>—@PaulMcCartney
Rest in peace Aretha. ❤ <a href="https://t.co/QT7HeY5SIf">pic.twitter.com/QT7HeY5SIf</a>—@MsPattiPatti
The whole world will miss her but will always rejoice in her remarkable legacy. The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RIPArethaFranklin?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RIPArethaFranklin</a> <br><br>Elton xx—@eltonofficial
What a life. What a legacy! <br>So much love, respect and gratitude.<br>R.I.P. <a href="https://twitter.com/ArethaFranklin?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ArethaFranklin</a> <a href="https://t.co/400K1U5IHI">https://t.co/400K1U5IHI</a>—@Carole_King
Aretha was One of a kind... <br><br>The Queen of Soul ♥️<br><br>Nothing but 'Respect'...<br><br>Heart & Prayers to Family & Friends... 🙏🏻x <a href="https://t.co/3w0egQmcAT">https://t.co/3w0egQmcAT</a>—@JulianLennon
I’m very sad to hear about Aretha Franklin passing. She was one of the greatest and most emotional singers. I used to love listening to her in the sixties but her music is timeless. Love & Mercy to Aretha’s family and friends. <a href="https://t.co/fFVKyjxIXT">pic.twitter.com/fFVKyjxIXT</a>—@BrianWilsonLive
“We all require and want respect, man or woman, black or white. It’s our basic human right.” -Aretha Franklin <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/QueenOfSoul?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#QueenOfSoul</a> <a href="https://t.co/Nq5SbJexBB">pic.twitter.com/Nq5SbJexBB</a>—@Alyssa_Milano
Salute to the Queen. The greatest vocalist I've ever known. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Aretha?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Aretha</a>—@johnlegend
Love and Thanks <a href="https://twitter.com/ArethaFranklin?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ArethaFranklin</a> Your voice, soul and musicianship inspires and lifts us always. Pure Light and Hope like no other. God Bless you. Deep thanks and gratitude for sharing All your gifts with the world. Forever now...Rest in Peace. Nils n Amy—@nilslofgren
1) january last year my phone rings. i don't recognize the number... "hello?" a woman responds, "hello. i have miss aretha franklin for don cheadle?" "what?!? wow! um, yes. of course. please, put her on!" then the same voice changes slightly "this is aretha, honey ..." 😂—@DonCheadle
Lucky enough to have seen Aretha live exactly once, and this was it. <br>Thank you for the music, we will be listening to you forever <a href="https://t.co/aMHIBFaTAs">https://t.co/aMHIBFaTAs</a>—@Lin_Manuel
As the One and Only ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin was simply peerless. She has reigned supreme. and will always be held in the highest firmament of stars as the most exceptional vocalist, performer and recording artist the world has ever been privilege… <a href="https://t.co/7DH7TIP3Nl">https://t.co/7DH7TIP3Nl</a> <a href="https://t.co/HfQh7kLM4o">pic.twitter.com/HfQh7kLM4o</a>—@AnnieLennox
From the time that Dinah Washington 1st told me that Aretha was the “next one” when she was 12-years old, until the present day, Aretha Franklin set the bar & she did it with the professionalism, class, grace, & humility that only a true Queen could... 📸: Hassan <a href="https://t.co/IjT6I7NH1D">pic.twitter.com/IjT6I7NH1D</a>—@QuincyDJones
I’m sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin.—@DianaRoss