Aretha Franklin Dead at 76: John Legend and More Stars Pay Tribute

Posing for a portrait lying on a couch circa 1973

Posing for a portrait lying on a couch circa 1973

If there was an original diva, it was thee Aretha Franklin. "You could hear her voice before she even got on stage", said local Erin Spencer, who gave his age only as "old enough to remember".

The next year, she traveled to Alabama to record - but went AWOL after an altercation with a white horn player and only agreed to finish the sessions back in NY, according to the biography.

The legendary soul singer was also a presence in Washington D.C. throughout her career, from her Presidential Medal of Freedom and National Medal of Humanities awards to her performances at President Barack Obama's inauguration and the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. "However, I dismissed it as a cheap shot for controversy".

Franklin was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1987 - a year before the Beatles were inducted. In 1956, she released her first album Songs of Faith, recorded at her father's church, New Bethel Baptist Church.

Franklin ... passed away on Thursday morning, August 16 at 9:50 her home in Detroit, MI, surrounded by family and loved ones.

US President Donald Trump expressed his condolences to the family of, "a person I knew well - she worked for me on numerous occasions, she was terrific". "The greatest vocalist I've ever known", tweeted fellow musician John Legend, who had collaborated with Franklin in "What Y'All Came To Do".

The statement continued: "We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world". "Aretha was a groundbreaker and an icon whose legacy will live on forever".

"Thank you for your compassion and prayers".

Aretha Louise Franklin was born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis to Rev. Clarence La Vaughn and Barbara Franklin, both of whom were also gospel singers.

"As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this hard time". The album was certified GOLD by the Recording Industry Association of America, and wins her a GRAMMY Award for the Best Rhythm & Blues Recording and Best Rhythm & Blues Solo Vocal Performance, Female for "Respect".

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