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Aretha Franklin, the “Queen of Soul,” Passes at 76


From around the world come reactions to the passing of Aretha Franklin at 76.  She gave us a soundtrack that runs through our lives and lifted us up whenever we heard it.  And even when she’s gone, her vibrations will stay with us, raising our spirits for the rest of our lives.  What a gift to have lived in her time. David Mark Greaves, Our Time Press


Former President Barack Obama:

America has no royalty. But we do have a chance to earn something more enduring. Born in Memphis and raised in Detroit, Aretha Franklin grew up performing gospel songs in her father’s congregation. For more than six decades since, every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine. Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, 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. She helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human. And sometimes she helped us just forget about everything else and dance.


Aretha may have passed on to a better place, but the gift of her music remains to inspire us all. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace. Michelle and I send our prayers and warmest sympathies to her family and all those moved by her song.


Former First Lady Michelle Obama:

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.

Aretha …
Hours before the announcement of the passing of Aretha Franklin, OTP, on deadline, added a footnote to its story on the centennial of a Brooklyn church in Bedford Stuyvesant.  “Aretha impacted every church musical director and gospel choir for the last 50 years,”Antioch Baptist Church music director Elder Sheila Carpenter, on vacation in Florida,  told us in a late-night phone interview.  The comment did not make the paper, but it did drive the story. 

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