R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin Tributes on This Day

She wasn't just a celebrity, a singer, a Diva, an icon, a legend, and a Black history trailblazer, she was truly an artist.


Over the transom, Aretha Franklin has been killed and buried by social media no less than five times and each time, she always turned up somewhere alive and well and wondering what people were talking about.

Well, today, August 16, 2018, she left us for real at the age of 76 after two days of being rumored “near death” and one final word that she was up and laughing and talking with family the day before the announcement was made today that she had passed on. She was born March 25, 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Other stars who died on this same day were singer Elvis Presley, who died 41 years ago of a drug overdose and related heart attack, and actor/comedian Robin Williams, who committed suicide. Her cause of death: Pancreatic cancer.

Nobody’s Perfect

“Auntie Ree’s” public persona and reputation has not always been stellar, but notwithstanding all of that … she was the Diva of all Divas. She left behind a rather high profile “chain chain chain, chain of feuds” with iconic legendary superstars Dionne Warwick, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Tina Turner, Patti Labelle, Beyonce, and the late Whitney Houston. She most definitely left her mark fighting them for her throne, but none of the still-living had a truly bad word to say about her in the end.

The Typical Racist Regalia in Full Form

Known disreputable race-mongering news organ FOX News used this day to insult Franklin by posting a photo of Patti Labelle while announcing Franklin’s death, in true typical “all n-words look alike to us” fashion and Donald Trump The Red, as usual, had nothing to say about Ms Franklin that was worth listening to or caring about.

Other than that …

Who’s The Real Queen?

Aretha’s reputation was earned and well-deserved – as an icon, as a legacy, as a Black history trailblazer, as a woman of God and woman of color better known as THE QUEEN OF SOUL, Aretha captured and captivated audiences of all ages the world over and was a personal favorite love of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

President Obama said today “Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade—our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace.”


First Lady Michelle Obama said “Watching Aretha Franklin perform at the White House, and on so many other occasions, made time stand still. @BarackObama and I are holding Aretha’s family in our hearts right now. She will forever be our Queen of Soul.”

Clive Davis said “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.”

Gladys Knight said “Aretha, your music set a standard for every single lady in this industry to rise to. You have touched minds, hearts and spirits, including my own. I pray you have a smooth journey Ree Ree and hopefully I’ll get to sing with you in the Heavenly choir. Love you #QueenOfSoul”

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.”

Ex-husband and Actor Glynn Turman stated, “I felt her pulse holding her frail, frail arm. I was able to feel her pulse, which was strong. So she was fighting ’til the very end. She’s always been a warrior — a strong, strong woman and a fighter. Her pulse told me that she was not in surrender mode. She was going to fight it ’til the end.” Turman, while visiting with close friend Stevie Wonder, said she was conscious but unable to communicate. “She did know that I was there,” he said. “And we were able to feed off of that recognition, feed off of the moment of both sort of realizing that time was extremely precious at this time. So it was a moment full of closure.”

Three days ago President Bill Clinton tweeted “Like people all around the world, Hillary and I are thinking about Aretha Franklin tonight & listening to her music that has been such an important part of our lives the last 50 years. We hope you’ll lift her up by listening and sharing her songs that have meant the most to you.”

The Obligatory Ending Statement

She leaves to mourn her loss four sons, Clarence Franklin, Edward Franklin, Ted White Jr., and Kecalf Cunningham. She was long preceded in death by her father, Reverend C.L. Franklin, a Baptist minister and Civil Rights Activist who lived in Detroit, Michigan and her mother, Barbara Vernice (Siggers) Franklin.

REST IN POWER ARETHA FRANKLIN. You did what you came here to do.



PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.

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