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‘No one did it better’ - Reaction to Aretha Franklin’s death

August 16, 2018

FILE - In this Nov. 21, 2008 file photo, Aretha Franklin performs at the House of Blues in Los Angeles. Franklin died Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018 at her home in Detroit. She was 76. (AP Photo/Shea Walsh, file)

Reaction to the death of soul icon Aretha Franklin, who died Thursday:

“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.” — Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, in a statement.

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“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.” — Smokey Robinson, in a statement.

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“The most consistent voice in music for 60 years has been Aretha Franklin’s voice... The world of music has lost a bit of its soul.” — Jesse Jackson, in an AP interview.

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“I’m one of the lucky ones to have seen Aretha perform in the very beginning of her career. She was amazing then and just became greater through the years. Talk about R.E.S.P.E.C.T., we have it for you, Aretha. You will never be forgotten.” — Dolly Parton, on Twitter.

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“I can’t remember a day of my life without Aretha Franklin’s voice and music filling up my heart with so much joy and sadness. Absolutely heartbroken she’s gone, what a woman. Thank you for everything, the melodies and the movements.” — Adele, via Instagram

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“It’s a sad day but what a glorious lady. Her voice says it all!” — Keith Richards, via Instagram.

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“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.” — Barbra Streisand, via Twitter.

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“No matter how many great singers and voices there will always be 1 Queen. #ArethaQueenForever.” — Oprah Winfrey, via Instagram

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“Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul. The Icon. The ultimate singers’ singer. The greatest singer and musician of my lifetime. The power of your voice in music and in civil rights blew open the door for me and so many others. You were my inspiration, my mentor and my friend.” — Mariah Carey, via Twitter.

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“A national treasure to everyone. But to me personally, Aretha Franklin was my dear, dear friend, my homegirl, and I loved her a lot. From seeing her as a baby singing and playing at the piano at her father’s home, to her giving a rousing performance at the White House, she has always been amazing. No matter how the music has changed over the years, she remained so relevant.” — Berry Gordy, in a statement.

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“Aretha Franklin had a heart as big as the sky. Her talent and fiery spirit paved the way for us all with her courage, respect and honesty. Every note she sang was true and an example of what it means to put everything you have into what you do. Thank you my friend. I will miss you.” — Roberta Flack in an emailed statement.

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“It seems very strange to wake up and hear that she passed today even though she lived such a long and fulfilled life. It’s no secret that she’s an icon. She is an icon of all icons... I don’t know anyone she hasn’t inspired.” — Nicki Minaj on Apple Music.

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“What a life. What a legacy! So much love, respect and gratitude. R.I.P.” — Carole King, via Twitter.

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“She is now in the pantheon of God’s greats, in the bosom of family.” — Whoopi Goldberg, via Twitter.

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“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. Apart from our long professional relationship, Aretha was my friend. Her loss is deeply profound and my heart is full of sadness.” — Clive Davis, in a statement.

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“We have lost one of the great artists of our time. Aretha Franklin was one of God’s precious gifts to the world_one of God’s shining jewels. She is deeply loved by millions of people as the Queen of Soul. Her voice is still a guiding light to vocalists today.” — Rep. John Lewis, via Twitter.

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“It’s a sad day for the world with the loss of our Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. My career is one of many that stand on the shoulders of not only a phenomenal voice but also an extraordinary woman. My family and I send love and prayers to her family. Her legacy will live on forever.” — Bobby Brown, in a statement.

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“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.” — Sam Moore, in a statement.

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Today has always been a hard day for me, and now the ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has left us, this loss saddens my heart not only was she a fellow Memphian, but she was also my inspiration to sing. — Lisa Marie Presley, via Twitter. Thursday is the 41st anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death.

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“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.” — Christina Aguilera, via Twitter.

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“Her voice; her presence; her style

No one did it better

Truly the Queen of Soul

I will miss you!” — Lionel Richie, in a statement.

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“Salute to the Queen. The greatest vocalist I’ve ever known.” — John Legend, via Twitter.

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“The loss of Aretha Franklin 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 favorite pianists.” — Elton John, via Instagram.

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“The older I get, it seems like the more ‘goodbyes’ must be said, and the harder they are to say. I just heard that Aretha Franklin has passed. I’ve known Aretha since my early years in New York. We used to joke around. She was something! I just want to say to her family that I truly admired her as a singer and as a woman. I am so sorry we’ve lost her. Goodbye my friend.” — Willie Mays, in a statement.

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“We have lost another legend from the civil rights era. From the time she was a teenager, Ms. Franklin has been singing freedom songs in support of my father and others in the struggle for civil rights. As a daughter of the movement, she not only used her voice to entertain but to uplift and inspire generations through songs that have become anthems such as “Respect” and “Bridge over Troubled Water.” — Dr. Bernice A. King, in a statement.

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“I’m sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin.” — Diana Ross, via Twitter.

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“From the time that Dinah Washington first told me that Aretha was the ‘next one’ when she was 12-years old until the present day, Aretha Franklin set the bar upon which every female singer has and will be measured. And she did it with the professionalism, class, grace and humility that only a true Queen could. I treasured every moment that we spent together from working in the recording studio, to performing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, or simply hanging in the kitchen, and I will miss her dearly. RIP Ree-Ree. You will reign as the Queen forever.” — Quincy Jones, in a statement.

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“Today the world has experienced a tremendous loss. Aretha was a rare treasure whose unmatched musical genius helped craft the soundtrack to the lives of so many.” — Patti LaBelle, via Twitter.

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“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.” — Hugh Jackman, via Twitter.

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“The Spinners wish to express their heartfelt condolences to the family of Aretha Franklin. It was Aretha who recommended Atlantic Records to The Spinners in 1968, where they made their greatest hits. Aretha Franklin will forever be the Queen of Soul.” — The Spinners, in a statement.

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“For more than 50 years, she stirred our souls. She was elegant, graceful, and utterly uncompromising in her artistry. Aretha’s first music school was the church and her performances were powered by what she learned there. I’ll always be grateful for her kindness and support, including her performances at both my inaugural celebrations, and for the chance to be there for what sadly turned out to be her final performance last November at a benefit supporting the fight against HIV/AIDS. She will forever be the Queen of Soul and so much more to all who knew her personally and through her music. Our hearts go out to her family and her countless fans.” — Bill Clinton, in a statement.

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“She was an amazing musician and an amazing vocalist, but she was also like the girl next door. I think what kept her really grounded was her spiritual upbringing, and her father. The world has lost a really wonderful person.” — Kenny Gamble, who worked with Franklin in 1969, when she recorded his song “A Brand New Me,” in an interview.

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“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!” — Donald Trump, via Twitter.

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“Lucky enough to have seen Aretha live exactly once, and this was it. Thank you for the music, we will be listening to you forever.” — Lin-Manuel Miranda, via Twitter.

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“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.” — Annie Lennox, via Twitter.

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“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.” — Paul McCartney, via Twitter.

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“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.” — The Rev. Al Sharpton, via Twitter.

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“Rightfully known worldwide as the ‘Queen of Soul,’ Ms. Franklin’s incomparable voice and remarkable career have left an indelible mark on the lives of many and will never be forgotten.” — RCA Records, in a statement.

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“Aretha Franklin — I want to thank her for her wonderful voice singing the theme song of ‘A Different World.’ She made a big, strong positive impact on that series. I am playing a cut from her CD — the title of the song is ‘Wholy Holy’ — and she’s live in a church. Bon Voyage.” — Bill Cosby, in a statement.

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