The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and the Queen of Soul are united in death even as they were joined in superstardom in life.
Aretha Franklin died in Detroit at age 76 on Thursday — 41 years to the day that Elvis Presley succumbed to a heart attack at his Memphis estate Graceland in 1977 at age 43.
She also passed exactly 70 years after baseball legend Babe Ruth, the so-called Sultan of Swat, died in New York City at age 53.
And yes, Thursday also marks the 60th birthday of another pop music icon, Madonna, in the kind of sublime coincidence that should keep fans and conspiracy theorists active for years.
Franklin, the R&B singer who rose to fame in the 1960s with hits like “Respect,” “I Say a Little Prayer” and “(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman,” died Thursday after a long battle with diabetes and other ailments.
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.
Many others noted the strange coincidence of the date of her passing while paying tribute to Franklin. “Ms. Franklin gave joy to millions by using her talent to the fullest,” wrote Bill O’Reilly.
The legendary Aretha Franklin dies on the same day Elvis Presley passed. Ms. Franklin gave joy to millions by using her talent to the fullest.
— Bill O'Reilly (@BillOReilly) August 16, 2018
So Aretha, Elvis, and Babe all died on the same day.
The Queen, King, and Sultan.
— Sam Farmer (@LATimesfarmer) August 16, 2018
The birthday of my father & Madonna
The death day of Elvis & Aretha
— Dana Delany (@DanaDelany) August 16, 2018
Elvis Presley and Babe Ruth also went home on August 16. Ascension day of the ???? s.
— Luke Russert (@LukeRussert) August 16, 2018