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.
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 https://t.co/aMHIBFaTAs
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) August 16, 2018
Salute to the Queen. The greatest vocalist I've ever known. ???????????????????????????????????????? #Aretha
— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 16, 2018
R E S P E C T
— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) August 16, 2018
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. I loved her so and love her still. Goodbye, Queen of Soul.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) August 16, 2018
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. Love Paul pic.twitter.com/jW4Gpwfdts
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) August 16, 2018
The loss of @ArethaFranklin 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 favourite pianists. pic.twitter.com/ug5oZYywAz
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) August 16, 2018
Mourning the loss today of @ArethaFranklin who shared her spirit and talent with the world. She deserves not only our RESPECT but also our lasting gratitude for opening our eyes, ears and hearts. Rest in eternal peace, my friend.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 16, 2018
RIP Aretha Franklin what a voice x
— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) August 16, 2018
“Looking out on the morning rain
I used to feel so uninspired
And when I knew
I had to face another day
Lord, it made me feel so tired
Before the day I met you
Life was so unkind
But you’re the key to
My peace of mind.”
Her voice/swagger was peerless.
Thank you, #ArethaFranklin pic.twitter.com/5gp0OP10Jf
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) August 16, 2018
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) August 16, 2018
So sad to hear about Aretha Franklin. She represented strength and empowerment… not to mention that voice. If you’re a vocalist, no matter which genre, you look up to that voice. #RipArethaFranklin ????
— Cassadee Pope (@CassadeePope) August 16, 2018
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. https://t.co/L8dIIhyR9Y
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) August 16, 2018
RIP Aretha Franklin
— Gucci Mane (@gucci1017) August 16, 2018
There will never be another Queen of Soul. Aretha Franklin is the embodiment of a soul blessed with a special gift. Grateful we have decades of recordings that will live on. Long Live The Queen. #RIPAretha
— Andy Cohen (@Andy) August 16, 2018
RIP Aretha Franklin ????????????????????
— TEYANA M.J. SHUMPERT (@TEYANATAYLOR) August 16, 2018
The moment I wake up, before I put on my make up, I say a little prayer for you
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) August 16, 2018
‘R.E.S.T.I.N ☮️, civil rights activist, Queen of Soul, thank you from Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam’ pic.twitter.com/wW0HkUwuVZ
— U2 (@U2) August 16, 2018
We mourn the passing of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul. Her voice will keep lifting us, through the music she gave the world. Our thoughts are with her family, her loved ones and fans everywhere. Take her hand, precious Lord, and lead her home. ???? pic.twitter.com/I84HTEVZU1
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) August 16, 2018
This photo was taken in 2012 when Aretha & I performed at a tribute celebration for our friend Marvin Hamlisch. 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 pic.twitter.com/Px9zVB90MM
— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) August 16, 2018
— John Stamos (@JohnStamos) August 16, 2018
— I. Marlene King (@imarleneking) August 16, 2018
— Mike Epps (@TheRealMikeEpps) August 16, 2018
— Carole King (@Carole_King) August 16, 2018
Feeling overwhelmingly sad. Thank you Aretha Franklin for the gift of your voice and your soul. Rest in peace.
— Lester Holt (@LesterHoltNBC) August 16, 2018
RIP Aretha Franklin. Queen of Soul.
— Stevie Van Zandt (@StevieVanZandt) August 16, 2018
RIP Aretha Franklin ????????
— Rick Allen (@rickallenlive) August 16, 2018
there’s not much to say about aretha that’s hyperbole. she was just that good. the list of great american singers starts with her. i don’t care who you put after. she was everything.
— El Flaco (@bomani_jones) August 16, 2018
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 J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2018
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. pic.twitter.com/bfASqKlLc5
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 16, 2018