Aretha Franklin, the undisputed Queen of Soul, died on August 16. In the aftermath, celebrities, friends, and fans turned to social media to share their memories. What follows are brilliant stories, touching tributes, and, of course, legendary music.
I have many memories of me coming into her home and she would be playing the piano and singing. Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling, but God is telling me that she is at peace. Today we lost an icon, a legend, but today I lost my grandma. I love u and imma make u proud 💕 pic.twitter.com/cSFK5pibEV
— Vic ✨ (@TDirt__) August 16, 2018
Watching Aretha Franklin perform at the White House, and on so many other occasions, made time stand still. @BarackObama and I are holding Aretha’s family in our hearts right now. She will forever be our Queen of Soul. pic.twitter.com/NhHsbKijpl
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) 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
— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) August 17, 2018
— Brit Bennett (@britrbennett) August 16, 2018
Aretha Franklin & Smokey Robinson on Soul Train in 1979, for a special ‘Salute to Aretha’ broadcast.
Presenter, Don Cornelius, surprised Aretha by asking if she would mind singing a song with Smokey..
Aretha, graciously, began playing Smokey’s 1965 Miracles’ song “Ooo Baby Baby”: pic.twitter.com/L8rXKnpfLU
— Music History (@RockWalkLondon) August 17, 2018
— Penny Abeywardena (@PAbeywardena) August 16, 2018
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) August 16, 2018
I treasured every moment that we spent together from working in the recording studio, to performing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, or simply hangin’ in the kitchen, & I will miss her dearly. RIP Ree-Ree…You will reign as the Queen forever. pic.twitter.com/Gyr3q13n8P
— Quincy Jones (@QuincyDJones) 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
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 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
Salute to the Queen. The greatest vocalist I've ever known. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 #Aretha
— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 16, 2018
I love this for a lot of reasons. One of them is how it feels like an authentic story of how black genius women compete. Some of what we attributed to shade or petty between, say, Patti and Aretha is just two people without peers except for each other. pic.twitter.com/n819kYRGiq
— The Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom (@tressiemcphd) August 17, 2018
— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) August 16, 2018
A friend of mine promoted an Aretha show in 1997. She asked to see the “man with the money” before she started the show. He gave her the performance fee in cash. She put the cash in her bra, walked on the stage, and destroyed the place.
— Jason Narducy (@SplitSingleband) August 16, 2018