'Greatest vocalist I've ever known': Celebrities lead tributes to Aretha Franklin

In The Beginning

American President Donald Trump and two of his predecessors, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton have joined the world in paying tributes to the late singer, Aretha Franklin, who died on Thitsday aged 76 after a prolonged battle with cancer. "And the only controversy with Aretha Franklin is her best song", he said. A statement released by her loved ones described Franklin as "the matriarch and rock of our family" and went onto say her her death was "one of the darkest moments of our lives".

"She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever", McCartney tweeted, while Starr sent "peace and love to her family".

Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days, the statement said, according to CNN.

In 2017, Franklin announced she would retire from public performances in 2018.

Celebrities like Missy Elliott and Diana Ross have been posting tributes on Twitter.

By the time she was 14-years-old, she had another child with Edward Jordan, called Edward. Aretha was the recipient of the U.S.A.'s highest civilian honor, The Presidential Medal Of Freedom, back in 2005. In the '80s, she took on more of an elder-legend role, but she still had plenty of success.

Aretha has won a total of 17 Grammys as well as three special recognitions from the academy, and is one of the best-selling singers of all time.

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Columbia

That wasn't the first time Franklin has touched Obama with her music.

Chilina Kennedy, who played King in the stage show about her life handsome, spoke about Natural Woman becoming a hit - before welcoming one of the greatest singers of our time to the stage.

Global musicians who have worked with or were influenced by Aretha Franklin have paid tribute to the Queen of Soul.

Aretha Franklin's family has been warned that the "gravely ill" star could die at any minute, according to a long-time friend.

While her career dipped in the mid-1970s, she experienced a revival in the 1980s, buoyed by her appearance in The Blues Brothers and collaborations with artists like George Michael and Eurythmics. On year earlier, she started her own record label, Aretha's Records.

Known for hits such as "Respect" and "Chain of Fools", the icon influenced artists for decades, making hits for long after she got a foothold in the music industry in the 1950s.

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