Aretha Franklin Dead At 76

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Various celebrities, media figures, and especially musicians have gone on Twitter to pay tribute to Franklin and celebrate her legacy.

"Her voice will keep lifting us, through the music she gave the world", Apple CEO Tim Cook said.

By this point, Franklin had already given birth to two children - the first of whom she had at 14 - and was beginning a tempestuous marriage to Ted White, who became her manager.

Prayers and well wishes poured in for the Grammy-winning artist, often called the Queen of Soul, after her illness became known. When it was time for her to re-up her Columbia contract, the terms weren't good enough for Franklin, who was starting to fully embrace her true worth.

And at Detroits Ford Field in 2016, when she sang one of the longest National Anthems ever recorded: A simple knit Lions cap, a nod to her deep roots in Motown. Politicians and activists - along with numerous gospel superstars of the day - were a fixture in the family home. She was to support progressive politics throughout her career.

"I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now", Franklin told a Detroit television interviewer in 2017.

Perhaps she didn't need to be - it was all in her voice.

The Queen of Soul has sung at the inaugurations of three American Presidents: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Her father was famed preacher and civil rights activist C.L. Franklin. She finally achieved widespread acclaim, and commercial success, after moving to Atlantic Records in 1967. Also, it had one of the most relatable lyrics for someone who has suffered a heartbreak, with words like "Don't play that song for me, 'Cause it brings back memories, The days that I once knew, The days that I spent with you".

In 2015, she sang "America, The Beautiful" during a send-off ceremony for then-Attorney General Eric Holder. Twenty years ago she stepped into the Grammy ceremony spotlight at the very last minute, subbing for an ailing Luciano Pavarotti and bringing the house down on Puccinis hard aria Nessun dorma. Using these techniques, as she did with Respect, lyrics could be repositioned to reflect the black female perspective.

Barbra Streisand posted a photo of herself with Aretha taken in 2012 on Instagram and wrote: "It's hard to conceive of a world without her". "Some people have a gift that there's music in their voice".

Her records sold millions of copies and the music industry couldn't honor her enough.

A fierce musical talent not only in sensitive and dynamic vocal interpretation but also as a skilled pianist and arranger, Franklin demanded respect from us. She occasionally confided her troubles in him, but mostly, she kept them close.