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Lin-Manuel Miranda, Shonda Rhimes Remember Aretha Franklin: ‘Thank You For the Music’

Queen of Soul died Thursday at the age of 76

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Shonda Rhimes, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ava DuVernay and Lester Holt are among those who have paid tribute to Aretha Franklin, who died Thursday at the age of 76.

“Feeling overwhelmingly sad,” Holt tweeted. “Thank you Aretha Franklin for the gift of your voice and your soul. Rest in peace.”

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

“She was music,” said John Stamos. “Soul, grace and respect!”

Earlier this week, a person with direct knowledge of Franklin’s condition told the Associated Press that Franklin was “seriously ill.” 

Franklin, who has long battled diabetes and other physical ailments, announced in February 2017 that she planned to give up touring. “I am retiring this year,” Franklin told WDIV Local 4 in Detroit. “I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it.”

During her career, Franklin won 18 Grammys, including a lifetime achievement award in 1994. She was also the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Her biggest hits include “Respect,” “Think,” “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I loved You),” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Baby I Love You” and “Ain’t No Way.” In 2009, she memorably performed “My Country Tis of Thee” at the first inauguration of President Barack Obama — and won as much acclaim for her elaborate hat as much as her vocal performance.

Even President Donald Trump paid tribute to Franklin, saying in a tweet, “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!”

See some tweets below.