Dolly Parton, Ariana Grande and Janelle Monae add to Aretha Franklin tributes
Tributes have continued to flood in for Aretha Franklin.
Dolly Parton, Ariana Grande and Janelle Monae are among the latest stars to remember the singer, otherwise known as the Queen of Soul, who died aged 76 on Thursday at her home in Detroit, Michigan, following a battle with cancer.
The stars hailed Franklin for her talent and contribution to modern American society after former US president Barack Obama said she graced people “with a glimpse of the divine” when she sang.
Recalling seeing Franklin perform at the very beginning of the soul singer’s career, Parton tweeted: “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.”
Dozens of stars across the worlds of music and entertainment paid tribute to Franklin on Thursday, including Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, Adele and Elton John.
Later, Grande and The Roots performed a tribute on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, singing Franklin’s 1967 hit Natural Woman.
Meanwhile US singer Monae shared a photo of her and Franklin on social media, describing her as a “genius that walked this Earth”.
She continued: “She was a BLACK WOMAN . She gave us the BLUE PRINT . She RAISED THE BAR . She LAID THE FOUNDATION and her name was QUEEN ARETHA FRANKLIN . We could not forget you if we tried . I am infinitely THANKFUL”
Mr Obama and his wife Michelle said in a statement that Franklin, who performed at his first inauguration in 2009, “helped define the American experience” through her “compositions and unmatched musicianship”.
“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,” the Obamas added.
“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.
“Aretha may have passed on to a better place, but the gift of her music remains to inspire us all. 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.”
President Donald Trump said that Franklin “was a great woman, with a wonderful gift from God”.
Meanwhile Carey thanked the star for being “my inspiration, my mentor and my friend”.
She tweeted: “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.”
Winfrey shared a clip from a 2003 interview on her chat show, commenting: “No matter how many great singers and voices there will always be 1 Queen. #ArethaQueenForever”
Music star Adele said she was “absolutely heartbroken” by Franklin’s death.
Posting on Instagram, she said: “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.”
Sir Elton John, who was present for Franklin’s last ever performance, called her death a “blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church”.
Her friend, record producer Quincy Jones, wrote on Twitter: “From the time that Dinah Washington 1st told me that Aretha was the ‘next one’ when she was 12-years old, until the present day, Aretha Franklin set the bar & she did it with the professionalism, class, grace, & humility that only a true Queen could…