Donald Trump, along with thousands of other celebrities, politicians and fans across the world, reacted to the news of Aretha Franklin’s death Thursday morning writing that she was a “great woman, with a wonderful gift from God, her voice.”
According to Philip Crowther, the White House pool stated that the president also described Franklin as “a person he knew well and who worked for him.”
Franklin, an 18-time Grammy winner, sold more than 75 million album copies during her career. She is known for top hits including “Respect,” “I Say A Little Prayer,” “Think” and “Chain of Fools.”
A photo of President Trump and Franklin popped up in the comments of his post, showing a smiling Trump with his arm around Franklin.
Franklin died about 9:50 a.m. at her home, publicist Gwendolyn Quinn told The Associated Press. News that Franklin had fallen ill spread like wildfire last Sunday, after it was first reported that she was gravely ill and near death.
Quinn told The Associated Press through a family statement that Franklin passed Thursday morning. The statement said “Franklin’s official cause of death was due to advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin’s oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute.”
The family added: “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. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.”
Franklin was a musical legend, and loved by millions. Her music influenced thousands of musicians and performers who came after her. Celebrities like Barbra Streisand and John Legend wrote emotional tributes to the Queen of Soul after news of her death broke on social media.
“Salute to the Queen. The greatest vocalist I’ve ever known,” John Legend wrote.
“It’s difficult to conceive of a world without her. Not only was she a uniquely brilliant singer, but her commitment to civil rights made an indelible impact on the world,” wrote Streisand.
Several politicians also chimed in, giving thanks to Franklin for all she did for civil rights in America, and the beauty she spread across the globe.
“Mourning the loss today of [Aretha Franklin] who shared her spirit and talent with the world. She deserves not only our RESPECT but also our lasting gratitude for opening our eyes, ears and hearts. Rest in eternal peace, my friend,” Hillary Clinton wrote.
President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump also joined the chorus of reactions and tributes around social media, stating: “Aretha Franklin was an artistic genius and trailblazer whose gift to the world transcends time. Long live the Queen of Soul as we pass her music on from generation to generation. May she Rest In Peace.”