Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin passed away Thursday morning. Provocative, innovative, and full of life, Franklin stretched her influence far and wide, including here in Washington. Current and former Beltway insiders paid their respects and shared some of their favorite moments on social media.
Bill Clinton issued a statement on behalf of himself and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
Like people all around the world, Hillary and I are thinking about Aretha Franklin tonight & listening to her music that has been such an important part of our lives the last 50 years. We hope you’ll lift her up by listening and sharing her songs that have meant the most to you.
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) August 14, 2018
Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo pointed out Franklin’s rigorous civil rights work:
Aretha Franklin used the power of her unforgettable voice to lift up others and shine a light on injustice. Today, we mourn the Queen.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) August 16, 2018
Former White House photographer Pete Souza shared this simple photo:
— Pete Souza (@PeteSouza) August 16, 2018
Former Attorney General Eric Holder paid tribute to his “queen” in a multi-tweet thread:
For Aretha pic.twitter.com/oONFGBD8H2
— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) August 16, 2018
New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez will miss her timelessness:
R-E-S-P-E-C-T Aretha Franklin. The undisputed Queen of Soul. An inspiration for so many. Her legacy will live on in the artists she inspired, her timeless hits we all have in our head, and the people of every race, creed and gender that she uplifted with her determined words.
— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) August 16, 2018
And of course, it’s important to note her relationship to former President Barack Obama, who was once moved to tears by Franklin’s mighty rendition of Carole King‘s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” Both the former president and Mrs. Obama issued this statement later Thursday morning:
Here's the Obamas on Aretha Franklin. pic.twitter.com/AXXW0nATV4
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) August 16, 2018
According to pool reporters, President Trump offered “warmest best wishes and sympathies” to the family of Aretha Franklin at the top of a cabinet meeting, adding that her “legacy will thrive and inspire” generations to come. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly said a prayer in her honor.