Aretha Franklin: the most touching tributes praising ‘queen of our souls’

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Susan Devaney
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Aretha Franklin has passed away at the age of 76 – but the flood of tributes proves how many lives she touched.  

Aretha Franklin was known as the queen of soul for six decades. From her incredible onstage presence to her larger-than-life vocals, Franklin’s contributions to music were extraordinary.

As tributes continue to pour in for the singer – from Lady Gaga to Britney Spears and Elton John – we look at how their words sum up how influential she really was. 

Lady Gaga 

“What beautiful music and vocal artistry you gave to the world. You are a legend and your soul will never be forgotten. Rest in peace angel of music.”

Elton John 

In a post on Instagram, Elton John called her death “a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church. Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated – she was one of my favourite pianists.”


Cher said Franklin’s “one of a kind voice will be with us forever”.

Paul McCartney

“Let’s all take a moment to give thanks for the beautiful life of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of our souls, who inspired us all for many many years. She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever.”

Diana Ross

“I’m sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin.”

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey, who performed with Franklin several times, shared several tweets in which she described Franklin as “the ultimate singers’ singer”.

“Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul. The Icon. The ultimate singers’ singer,” wrote Carey. “The greatest singer and musician of my lifetime. The power of your voice in music and in civil rights blew open the door for me and so many others.”


Adele wrote she “can’t remember a day of my life without Aretha Franklin’s voice and music filling up my heart with so much joy and sadness”.

Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson said “Aretha Franklin is the reason why I sing from that part deep inside of me that few could ever reach”.

Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake shared a photograph of him singing with Franklin and called the singer “the greatest of all time”.

Missy Elliott

Missy Elliott wrote: “I imagine you in heaven performing and still making people souls move.”

Michelle Obama

Michelle spoke of Franklin’s performance at the White House, saying “she will forever be our queen of soul.”

You can read some of Franklin’s greatest quotes here

Images: Getty / Instagram / Twitter


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Susan Devaney

Susan Devaney is a digital journalist for, writing about fashion, beauty, travel, feminism, and everything else in-between.