Today we lost a true legend. Ms. Aretha Franklin passed away this morning surrounded by family and friends at her home in Detroit. She was 76.
Aretha Franklin was truly a cultural icon and her music is timeless. She inspired so many female singers from around the world. She also inspired many women and had a great impact on the African American community.
My parents introduced me to Aretha’s music when I was a young girl. It is because of them I have such a strong love for her music. (In fact, I play her music often when I am writing.)
It’s hard for me to choose a favorite Aretha Franklin song because I love them all. But if I had to choose, two songs come to mind:
“(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”
“I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)”
I also remember dancing to “Freeway of Love” when I was a young girl. I was taking a dance class through daycare and it was one of the songs we learned for a dance routine. Little ole me didn’t even have clue, at the time, who the great singer was that was playing on the boombox.
Earlier this morning, the late singer’s publicist Gwendolyn Quinn released a statement on behalf of Aretha Franklin’s family. From Click On Detroit WDIV:
It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Aretha Louise Franklin, the Queen of Soul, in a statement issued by Franklin’s family through her longtime publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn.
Franklin, 76 years old, passed away on Thursday morning, August 16 at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit, MI, surrounded by family and loved ones. Franklin’s official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin’s Oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, MI.
“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.”
Hannah Giorgis for The Atlantic wrote in an article today that “The Queen of Soul…didn’t just perform; she enraptured. Franklin sang with a power and conviction that healed. She transformed pain — both others’ and her own— into jubilation. This alchemy was studied, strenuous. Aretha Franklin gave us, her listeners, everything.”
On the passing of Aretha Franklin, President Barak Obama said:
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
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) August 16, 2018
I also loved what Paul McCartney expressed on Twitter:
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
Our condolences, love, and prayers go out to Aretha Franklin’s family and friends. Thank you, Ms. Franklin, for sharing your beautiful gift of song and music. You will be forever missed.
Rest in peace, Queen.
Feature image courtesy of ArethaFranklin.net.