Taylor Hill/Getty ImagesCelebrities from all genres of music –and presidents — are reacting to the death of Aretha Franklin, the music icon and undisputed Queen of Soul, who died on Thursday from advanced pancreatic cancer. She was 76. Here’s a sampling:
Clive Davis, who signed Aretha to Arista Records in 1980: “I’m absolutely devastated by Aretha’s passing. She was truly one of a kind. She was more than the Queen of Soul. She was a national treasure to be cherished by every generation throughout the world.”
Paul McCartney: “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”
Elton John, friend and duet partner: “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.”
The Rolling Stones: “Very sad to hear the news about Aretha, she was so inspiring and wherever you were she always brought you to church.”
Bette Midler: “The greatest voice in American popular music has been stilled. Our beloved #ArethaFranklin has gone. For me, she was a musical lighthouse, guiding and inspiring with every note. I loved her so and love her still. Goodbye, Queen of Soul.”
Gene Simmons of KISS: “So sad. Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul has passed away. Our prayers and condolences to family, friends and fans.”
Slash of Guns N’ Roses: “Undoubtedly one of the greatest of ALL time, RIP #ArethaFranklin.”
Cyndi Lauper: “Thank you for all the music and all those beautiful notes that inspired me growing up and all through my life. Rip my love to her family. Thank you for sharing her with us.”
Barbra Streisand: “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”
Diana Ross: “I’m sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin.”
Smokey Robinson: “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. #QueenOfSoul”
Lenny Kravitz: “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!”
Kelly Clarkson: “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. #QueenOfSoul.”
John Legend: “Salute to the Queen. The greatest vocalist I’ve ever known.”
Sam Moore of Sam & Dave: “Aretha Franklin and I have been friends and label mates for more than sixty years. I adored her and I know the feelings were mutual. While I’m heartbroken that she’s gone I know she’s in the Lord’s arms and she’s not in pain or suffering anymore from the damn cancer that took her away from us. I’m going to hope, pray and count on the fact that I will see her again sometime. Rest in the Lord’s arms in love, Re.”
Lionel Richie: “Her voice; her presence; her style No one did it better Truly the Queen of Soul I will miss you!”
Tony Bennett: “It was a double thrill for me to perform on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera on my 85th birthday and have the Queen of Soul (and heart) Aretha Franklin singing with me….she will be missed by the world.”
Nile Rodgers: “I just finished interviews in Berlin, and was informed the mighty @ArethaFranklin has passed. RIPArethaFranklin #QueenofSoul”
Anita Baker: “Queen… My Queen.”
Annie Lennox , duet partner: “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 privileged to witness. Superlatives are often used to describe astonishing artists, but in my view even superlatives seem insufficient. Everyone who loved Aretha will be saying little prayers of gratitude, appreciation and respect for the musical life force that has enriched our lives. Her voice will soar on forever.”
The Band‘s Robbie Robertson: “When the legendary Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler told me that he had recorded, The Weight with Aretha Franklin, I thought, how does it get better than that? When I heard their version, I was thrilled that she sang the hell out of it and had Duane Allman on slide guitar. A dream come true. Aretha doesn’t scream, squall, or yell, she SINGS— from the heavens with grace and style.
Sending blessings and appreciations to the Queen.”
Hugh Jackman: “One of the highlights of my career was singing with #ArethaFranklin 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”
Fergie: “RESPECT. Her legendary voice came straight from God. Now her soul is with Him. Thank you Aretha”
Jamie Lee Curtis: “R E S P E C T”
Arcade Fire‘s Win Butler: Aretha was the greatest of all time. Played 3 songs in a row at my set in Berlin night before last…her music will live forever.
Elvis Costello: “No words worthy.”
Liam Gallagher: RIP Aretha Franklin what a voice
Maxwell: “this morning we lost an icon a legend a voice a musician an activist: her soul lives on may you sleep in heavenly peace ms. franklin.”
The Obamas: “…Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, 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. She helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human. And sometimes she helped us just forget about everything else and dance….May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace. Michelle and I send our prayers and warmest sympathies to her family and all those moved by her song.
Donald Trump: “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!”
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