Celebrities Share Heartfelt Tributes To Aretha Franklin, The Queen Of Soul

"What a life. What a legacy!"

The music industry lost a true gem today: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, has passed away at the age of 76.

A representative for the singer, longtime publicist Gwendolyn Quinn, confirmed the news that Franklin had died at her home in Detroit after a lengthy battle with cancer. This sad news comes just a few days after she was reported to be "gravely ill" and social media was flooded with love for the beloved American icon.

"In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our hearts. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds," the family said in a statement, via The Associated Press. "We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters, and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time."

If there was an accolade, chances are Franklin got it. She was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (in 1987), earned 20 total Grammys (including a lifetime achievement award), performed at presidential inaugurations (most recently for Barack Obama), her voice was named a "natural resource" of Michigan (in 1985), and her music — particularly the song "Respect" — was a centerpiece of the feminist and civil rights movements.

In the wake of Franklin's passing, prominent public figures are once again taking to social media to say just how much this artist meant to them and to the history of pop culture. Here are just a few of those messages:

Cover image via Paul Natkin/Getty Images.


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