'We were all graced with a glimpse of the divine' - paying tribute to Aretha

Aretha Franklin passed away today at her home in Detroit at the age of 76.

She had been suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer, her representative Gwendolyn Quinn said.

A family statement said: "In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family."

Following the news, friends, politicians and fans began to flood social media with tributes to the legendary woman.

Carole King who wrote (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman was among them.

Below are just some of the tributes being paid to the iconic Queen of Soul.

In a statement, Barack and Michelle Obama said:

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. 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 songs.

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The loss of Aretha Franklin is 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. I was fortunate enough to spend time with her and witness her last performance – a benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation at St John The Divine Cathedral. She was obviously unwell, and I wasn’t sure she could perform. But Aretha did and she raised the roof. She sang and played magnificently, and we all wept. We were witnessing the greatest soul artist of all time. I adored her and worshipped her talent. God bless her. My condolences to all her family and friends. We shared the same birthday – and that meant so much to me. The whole world will miss her but will always rejoice in her remarkable legacy. The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen. @arethasings #RIP #ArethaFranklin #QueenOfSoul @ejaf

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The 3 seconds it takes for #ArethaFranklin to oooooze out the words “Sittin around..” is as pure & creative & as honest as any singer I’ve ever seen when a performance goes beyond mere entertainment. THIS is what we need to get back to. where raw genius rises above marketing strategy & monetary reach & “likes” (because let’s face it, look at the Billboard singles/Spotify singles/ITunes singles—-could she even find space to develop this talent? Or just give up & get a reality show and pray this works out? Now figure out the legions of talent that we either dismissed or passed on today or even the mesmerizing talent we’ve been shown near this level that can’t even begin to thrive in this environment without some angle) for those not in the know & wanna know, with the exception of her yet to be seen Sidney Pollack documentary Amazing Grace (her best captured 2 hours 1972 in chu’ch, in her zone in south central Los Angeles—-w The Rolling Stones sitting IN THE DECON SECTION)—-this Performance at the #MontreuxJazzFestival in 71 is as good as it gets: as a singer, as a bandleader (midshow she calls an audible and the brass section just gives up playing & accepts they are just happy to have best seats in the house), as a piano player—-so underrated!—and the fact she has her ace band in tow too (#KingCurtis as MD & #BernardPurdie on drizzums)—-this is her most magical effortless skillful scientific talents on display. Long Live #QueenAretha.

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