The world is mourning the loss of the Queen of Soul Thursday, as news broke that Aretha Franklin, 76, died in her Detroit home. Her death follows reports that the legendary singer was “seriously ill.”
Notable figures across the music industry, politics, and media are sharing kind words and memories of Franklin on social media, recalling the power of both her spirit and her voice.
In the world of entertainment, Paul McCartney paused to “give thanks” for Franklin’s life, saying “the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook mourned Franklin’s loss, writing, “Her voice will keep lifting us, through the music she gave the world. Our thoughts are with her family, her loved ones and fans everywhere. Take her hand, precious Lord, and lead her home.
Film director, producer, and screenwriter Ava DuVernay shared lyrics, adding “Her voice/swagger was peerless.”
Flo Rida shared a photo with the Queen of Soul on his Instagram, recalling the day he met Franklin. “Her voice was as strong, powerful and soulful as ever,” he wrote. “I will always remember the words of encouragement that she whispered to me.”
The Obama family was particularly touched by Franklin’s career: the Queen of Soul performed at Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009, and moved him to tears during a 2015 performance. In a heartfelt Twitter post, Obama wrote, “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.”
Michelle Obama memorialized Franklin as well, saying her performances “made time stand still.”
Hillary Clinton mourned Franklin’s loss, writing, “She deserves not only our RESPECT but also our lasting gratitude for opening our eyes, ears and hearts. Rest in eternal peace, my friend.”
In a White House statement, Trump also expressed his condolences for Franklin’s family. “She was given a great gift from God—her voice—and she used it well. People loved Aretha. She’s a special woman.”