Read Barack and Michelle Obama’s Statement on the Passing of Aretha Franklin

“America has no royalty. But we do have a chance to earn something more enduring.”

Former president Barack Obama celebrates with Aretha Franklin at a 2015 Justice Department event to unveil the official portrait of Eric Holder, the former Attorney General.@BarackObama/Twitter

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, died on Thursday at her home in Detroit, aged 76. The former president, Barack Obama, and his wife Michelle, released the following statement celebrating her musical achievements, and her iconic role in American life:

The former president also posted this photographic tribute to Franklin on Twitter:

Memorably, Franklin performed “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” at President Obama’s first inauguration. Relive that performance below:

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.