Aretha Franklin Awarded Special Pulitzer Prize

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Aretha Franklin photographed on July 28, 1970.

Aretha Franklin is being honored with a posthumous Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, the organization announced Monday (April 15). Along with Franklin, composer Ellen Reid was named as this year’s recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in music for her debut opera, prism.

“Congratulations to @Aretha Franklin and her family and friends,” the Pulitzer Prize account tweeted to make the announcement, using the hashtags #QueenofSoul and #Respect.

The Pulitzer Prize jury occasionally awards Special Citations when deemed necessary, with such previous recognition being given to the likes of Hank Williams, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Bob Dylan. Franklin makes history as the first individual woman to earn a special citation prize since the honor was first awarded in 1930.

The award is one of a long list of accolades afforded to Franklin during her iconic career, including the Kennedy Center Honors, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and being the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Check out the official announcement below.