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

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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:

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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