The music industry was in mourning on Thursday (Aug. 16) as it grieved for one of the most iconic vocalists in modern pop history: Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul passed away in her Detroit home at age 76 after a battle with pancreatic cancer and within moments of her death, tributes poured in from across the globe from fans, fellow musicians and former presidents.
Among those sharing their love for the 18-time Grammy winning vocalist who was equally adept at singing jazz, R&B, pop and opera was longtime friend and Sony Music Entertainment Chief Creative officer Clive Davis. “I’m absolutely devastated by Aretha’s passing,” Davis said in a statement. “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.”
Known for her career-defining covers of Otis Redding’s “Respect” and Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” — Franklin was also a talented songwriter and musician. Her songwriting catalog includes such classics as “Think,” “Daydreaming,” “Ain’t No Way,” “Dr. Feelgood” and “Rock Steady.” And as a musician accompanying herself on the piano, Franklin helped shape such timeless tracks as the aforementioned “Respect,” “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” and “Chain of Fools.”
Funeral arrangements for Franklin will be announced in the coming days.