Aug. 16 (UPI) — U.S. President Donald Trump, former President Barack Obama, recording superstars Diana Ross and Elton John, and music mogul Clive Davis were among those to express online their appreciation of music legend Aretha Franklin, who died Thursday at the age of 76.
The Memphis native and 20-time Grammy winner was known for 1960s classics such as “Respect” and “Chain of Fools.” She died of an undisclosed illness for which she was hospitalized Monday.
“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!” Trump tweeted after Franklin’s death was reported.
“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. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace,” Obama said.
“I’m sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin,” Ross posted on Twitter.
“She sang and played magnificently, and we all wept. We were witnessing the greatest soul artist of all time. I adored her and worshipped her talent. God bless her. My condolences to all her family and friends. We shared the same birthday — and that meant so much to me,” John said.
“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,” Davis tweeted.
“Apart from our long professional relationship, Aretha was my friend. Her loss is deeply profound and my heart is full of sadness,” he added.
“We have lost the greatest singer of our time. As a songwriter, I know personally how meaningful a gifted interpreter of material can be. No one can replace her,” Billy Joel said.
“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 wrote.
“Rest in paradise Queen Aretha! Thank you for sharing your gifts with the world. One of the purest, most soulful voices of all time…” actor Omar Epps offered.
“Forever [heart emoji,]” wrote Ariana Grande.
“Aretha was marketed as a supper club singer of standards at Columbia. With Never Loved a Man and subsequent Atlantic releases, she reinvented herself and soul music. Forever. #Irreplaceable,” actor Michael McKean said.
“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,” Kelly Clarkson posted.
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