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article image'A rare treasure': outpouring of tributes to Aretha Franklin

By AFP     Aug 16, 2018 in Music

The death of 76-year-old music icon Aretha Franklin prompted figures across the spectrum, from politics to pop, to pay homage to her tremendous influence on American culture.

Here are some top tributes to the "Queen of Soul":

- Entertainment -

- Barbra Streisand

"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," the singer and actress tweeted.

- Patti LaBelle

Flowers and tributes are placed on the star for Aretha Franklin on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Flowers and tributes are placed on the star for Aretha Franklin on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Mark RALSTON, AFP

"Aretha was a rare treasure whose unmatched musical genius helped craft the soundtrack to the lives of so many," the fellow soul superstar said.

- Diana Ross

"I'm sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin," the disco and soul star tweeted.

- Mariah Carey

"The Queen of Soul. The Icon. The ultimate singers' singer," the pop diva tweeted. "The power of your voice in music and in civil rights blew open the door for me and so many others."

- 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," the Beatles legend tweeted.

- Elton John

"The whole world will miss her but will always rejoice in her remarkable legacy. The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen," tweeted the pop superstar.

- 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," the singer and actress tweeted.

- Politics -

- Barack and Michelle Obama

"Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, Aretha helped define the American experience," the former president and his wife said in a statement. "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."

Aretha Franklin sings during the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United St...
Aretha Franklin sings during the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States
MARK WILSON, GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File

"And sometimes she helped us just forget about everything else and dance."

- 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!" tweeted the US president.

- Jesse Jackson

"Earth has lost a lot of music today," civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said on local television. "She never stopped serving. She never stopped caring. She never stopped sharing. We thank her so much. We miss her already so much."

- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

"The ever-reigning Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin is an iconic symbol of black pride whose music touched so many hearts and souls," tweeted the rights organization.

- Bill and Hillary Clinton

US President Bill Clinton (R) along with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton award singer Aretha Frank...
US President Bill Clinton (R) along with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton award singer Aretha Franklin (C) with the 1999 National Medal of Arts and Humanities Award at Constitution Hall in Washington
STEPHEN JAFFE, AFP/File

"For more than 50 years, she stirred our souls," said the former US president in a joint statement with his wife, the former secretary of state. "She was elegant, graceful, and utterly uncompromising in her artistry."

- Al Sharpton

"Deeply saddened by the passing of a beloved friend and queen/warrior Aretha Franklin," tweeted the civil rights activist. "Her contributions are legendary both personally and societally."

- John Lewis

"What made her talent so great was her capacity to live what she sang. Her music was deepened by her connection to the struggles and the triumphs of the African American experience," the longtime Georgia congressman and civil rights icon said in a statement. "She was like a muse whose songs whispered the strength to continue on. Her music gave us a greater sense of determination to never give up or give in, and to keep the faith."

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