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Social media reacts to the passing of Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin’s life story is the subject of “Genius: Aretha,” scheduled to premiere March 21 on NatGeo.
Aretha Franklin, photographed in Detroit, in 2014. | SUPPLIED PHOTO

She was the undisputed Queen of Soul, and an American treasure. On Thursday, celebrities and notables shared their thoughts on the passing of Aretha Franklin, who died at the age of 76, after battling pancreatic cancer.

The condolences continue to pour in a day after Franklin’s passing was announced.

Here’s a video of artists singing covers of Franklin’s music.

John Legend

Billy Joel

Paul McCartney

Smokey Robinson

Elton John, via Instagram:

“The loss of Aretha Franklin 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 favorite pianists.”

Ava DuVernay

President Donald Trump

Barack Obama

Michelle Obama

Carole King

Bette Midler

Bill Clinton

“Hillary and I mourn the loss of our friend Aretha Franklin, one of America’s greatest national treasures. For more than 50 years, she stirred our souls. She was elegant, graceful, and utterly uncompromising in her artistry. Aretha’s first music school was the church and her performances were powered by what she learned there. I’ll always be grateful for her kindness and support, including her performances at both my inaugural celebrations, and for the chance to be there for what sadly turned out to be her final performance last November at a benefit supporting the fight against HIV/AIDS. She will forever be the Queen of Soul and so much more to all who knew her personally and through her music. Our hearts go out to her family and her countless fans.”

Ravinia Festival, where Franklin performed eight times since 2003, most recently in 2017:

“This isn’t the first time Aretha had us all crying. This once-in-ten-lifetimes talent took us to church over the radio in very turbulent times and in joyous times. She was an absolute joy to know, and in a way we all knew her. That’s what makes it especially hard when someone who was so much a part of our social fabric leaves us, and we have no personal way of saying goodbye. Put the records on. Let the tears flow. And pay her the respect that both the song and her life demanded.”

The Rev. Jesse Jackson “There will never be another queen. . . .I play her music constantly–as I travel, as I think, as I write, as I dream. Aretha sang our triumphs, our testimonies, our grief, our struggles. I know I’m not alone in that.”

Legendary soul singer Sam Moore

“Aretha Franklin and I have been friends and label mates for more than sixty years. I adored her and I know the feelings were mutual. While I’m heartbroken that she’s gone I know she’s in the Lord’s arms and she’s not in pain or suffering anymore from the damn cancer that took her away from us. I’m going to hope, pray and count on the fact that I will see her again sometime. Rest in the Lord’s arms in love, Re.”

Cissy Houston:

“Aretha was my dear friend who I will deeply miss. I have known Aretha for over 50 years, both professionally as her back up singer and then as a friend. We have shared heartbreak, loss, as well as exaltation and great laughter and most importantly our mutual love of God. Although my heart is broken, my soul rejoices that I was able to watch God move through Aretha’s life. God bless you Re, I will always love you.”

Lionel Richie, via statement:

“Her voice; her presence; her style. No one did it better. Truly the Queen of Soul. I will miss you!”

Hillary Clinton

Andy Cohen

Shonda Rhimes

Naomi Campbell

Alyssa Milano

Billy Ray Cyrus, via statement:

“Rest in peace Aretha Franklin. An amazing talent with one of the most moving voices of all time. Your music will live on forever.”