Latin Music Week

Diana Ross, John Legend, Ariana Grande & More Stars Pay Tribute to Aretha Franklin

The music world lost another legend this morning (Aug. 16), as Aretha Franklin passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer. The Queen of Soul was more than just one of the most succesful musicians of all time -- she was an inspiration to artists of all genres across several decades. With such an impact, Franklin's sad death had singers, actors and countless stars hitting social media to say thank you and rest in peace to the icon.

Diana Ross, John Legend, Idina Menzel, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Andy Cohen were among some of the first to tweet their love for Aretha, with the likes of Ariana Grande, Mariah Carey, Tony Bennett and more adding to the tributes. Outside of social media, Clive Davis, Quincy Jones, Annie Lennox, Michael McDonald and more of Franklin's peers sent out heartfelt messages in honor of the late singer.

Take a look at some of the odes to Aretha below.

Clive Davis: "I’m absolutely devastated by Aretha’s passing.  She was truly one of a kind.  She was more than the Queen of Soul.  She was a national treasure to be cherished by every generation throughout the world.  Apart from our long professional relationship, Aretha was my friend.  Her loss is deeply profound and my heart is full of sadness."

Quincy Jones: "From the time that Dinah Washington first told me that Aretha was the “next one” when she was 12-years old until the present day, Aretha Franklin set the bar upon which every female singer has and will be measured.  And she did it with the professionalism, class, grace and humility that only a true Queen could.  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 hanging in the kitchen, and I will miss her dearly.  RIP Ree-Ree.  You will reign as the Queen forever."

Annie Lennox: "As the One and Only ‘Queen of Soul,‘ Aretha Franklin was simply peerless. She has reigned supreme, and will always be held in the highest firmament of stars as the most exceptional vocalist, performer and recording artist the world has ever been privileged to witness. Superlatives are often used to describe astonishing singers.. but in my view, even superlatives cannot be sufficient. Everyone who loved her will be saying little prayers of gratitude, respect and appreciation for the musical life force that enriched our lives. Her voice will soar forever."

Michael McDonald: "Aretha Franklin holds a significant place in the collective heart of America. She’s a singular example of what we represent at our best. Her courage as an artist—making her work her life’s foremost endeavor—and her conviction to strive for her greatest potential is an example that this country will always benefit from. It's something that truly defines us in a positive light to the rest of the world. She’s one of those iconic artists that cause most people to remember where they were the very first time they heard her amazing voice. She has reached that highest level as an artist where her voice has become, in a collective and spiritual sense, our voice. In a time when art is increasingly considered a secondary human pursuit, she reminds us that it is the very thing that represents our humanity the best. Aretha Franklin is and will always be a national treasure."

Neil Portnow (on behalf of The Recording Academy): "Aretha Franklin was an incomparable artist who came to be recognized as one of the most profound voices in music. Known universally as the Queen of Soul, she solidified her legendary status in the late 1960s with chart-topping recordings that included "Respect," "A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like)," and "Think." During her six-decade career Aretha earned 44 GRAMMY® nominations, 18 GRAMMY Awards, and was recognized by the Recording Academy™ on several occasions for her remarkable accomplishments as an artist and philanthropist. We were privileged to honor her with the Recording Academy's GRAMMY Legend Award in 1991, the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994, and as the 2008 MusiCares® Person of the Year for her extraordinary artistic achievements and charitable efforts. Her distinctive sound, unforgettable recordings, and giving spirit will continue to be celebrated worldwide. Aretha will be dearly missed, and our thoughts go out to her loved ones during this difficult time."

Dave Stewart (of The Eurythmics): "When I first met Aretha in Detroit she took me aside into a tiny room and shut the door , she sat down at an old piano and sang the way we were with tears streaming down her face and with as much passion as if she were on stage at an Opera House , I was stunned at the emotion , the power and sheer musical talent pouring out of this woman , I was never the same. When Annie and I went to Detroit to record Aretha singing on our song “Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves” we were both so nervous we sat on the wall outside the studio waiting for her …. the Queen was arriving and we knew it. When Aretha finally turned up she said, 'Man, I’m so tired I stayed up all night making fried chicken for y’all.' From then on it was like we were invited in her home and all my fears went away, she was so easy going until we started recording then we saw another side of Aretha obsessing over every word and making sure she could make the song hers too, and she sure did.”

Eddie Money: "Some of my fondest memories while working in the studio were with The Queen of Soul at the Record Plant in LA in the late '70s. She said 'You sing pretty good Moneyman, but I gotta fatten you up!' Her cornbread, turnip greens and fried chicken did just that. Not only could she sing, that lady could cook! I loved Aretha because she was so genuine and was incredibly nice to me when I wasn't even famous yet. See you on the other side, I hope."

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."

Bob Seger: "What an other worldly talent.  Legendary. Right up there with the greatest singers ever.  She will be greatly missed. Irreplaceable."

Roberta Flack: "Aretha Franklin had a heart as big as the sky. Her talent and fiery spirit paved the way for us all with her courage, respect and honesty. Every note she sang was true and an example of what it means to put everything you have into what you do. Thank you my friend. I will miss you."

Ashanti: "One of the most iconic soulful voices of our time... Thank you Ms. Aretha Franklin for opening doors for women like myself being fearless and breaking down global barriers with your gift... being the first woman to be indicted into the rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Fame..I am humbled and honored to have had the opportunity to accept the Aretha Franklin Entertainer Of The Year Award created in your honor. Rest in Paradise Queen."

Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff: “We not only admire Aretha Franklin for her singing ability, but we appreciate what she did to uplift the community. We have always been honored and elated -- and are still on ‘Cloud Nine’ – for having her cover two of our songs: ‘A Brand New Me’ and ‘Christmas Just Ain’t Christmas without the One You Love.’ While we never got the opportunity to work directly with Aretha, she was our dear friend. “We send our deepest and sincere condolences out to her family. She was truly the best!”

Gwendolyn Quinn: “It’s been a wonderful 20 plus year professional engagement and friendship with Aretha Franklin. I remember when Clive Davis introduced us during my tenure at Arista Records. After I left Arista Records in 2001, and later started my PR firm in 2002, Aretha signed with me, and she was my first marquee client. Now as she rest in peace, I will have so many fond and unforgettable memories working as her publicist of record. She was not only a client, but a friend, and would often remind me of that. The Queen of Soul has taken me to places in my career that only a Queen can take you. She blessed me and my life tremendously. I will miss her and will be forever grateful that our paths crossed.”

Rod Argent (The Zombies, Argent): "So sad to hear that Aretha has gone. She embodied absolutely everything central and essential to making great music. Although she actually had the best chops of anyone, they were always used in the service of the song, and never gratuitously. Therefore the power in her records and performances to move emotionally and spiritually was stunning and unrivaled. The Zombies first became aware of Aretha courtesy of Patti LaBelle, when we were appearing with her on the 1964 Murray The K show, at The Brooklyn Fox. The kind and lovely Patti turned us on to so much wonderful black music; one of the first things she told us was "You have to check out this 'New kid on the block' - Aretha Franklin! This was actually before her great Atlantic soul days, but we immediately fell in love with her - and quickly started doing "Soulville," one of her songs from the Columbia "Running Out Of Fools" period.... It's been such a privilege just to have been around and practicing music during the musical lifetime of such a great artist, and being able to savor each triumphant and life-enhancing record as it came out..... R.I.P. Aretha; thanks for every fantastic moment." 

Emilio Castillo, bandleader for Tower of Power: "One of the greatest singers of all time, the Queen of Soul - Aretha Franklin, has gone to be with the Lord and she will be missed greatly. She profoundly influenced Tower of Power throughout the years and opening for her at the Fillmore West back in the early '70s was a highlight in our career. It was during that weekend that she looked me straight in the eye and said "Tower of Power; my favorite band!!!" I just melted right there in front of her. I look forward to seeing her in the eternal heavens, along with so many whom she helped to know the Lord."