March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018
The undisputed “Queen of Soul”, Aretha Franklin, passed away in her home on Thursday, August 16, 2018 ending her battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 76. Throughout her 60+ year musical career, Franklin gifted the world with hits such as “Do Right Woman- Do Right Man”, “Think”, “Chain of Fools”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, and “Respect”, which went on to become her signature record. The Queen definitely left her mark on the music industry, placing more than 100 singles on the Billboard charts, earning 18 Grammy Awards (including the lifetime achievement award in 1994), and being the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Her soulful and unmatched voice helped us welcome our nation’s first Black president at the 2009 inauguration of Barack Obama, and she helped us say goodbye to one of the greatest leaders our community has ever seen at the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. For her unwavering commitment to Black excellence and her willingness to gift the world with her voice and talents, Aretha Franklin is a Black Unicorn.
In honor of her legacy, our music curator, Trey Payadue, has created a special Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure. Let’s celebrate her music as we mourn our loss, together.