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Celebs React to Aretha's Death

Several celebrities paid their R-E-S-P-E-C-T on Twitter yesterday in the wake of Aretha's passing.

Paul McCartney: "Let’s all take a moment to give thanks for the beautiful life of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of our souls, who inspired us all for many many years. She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever. Love Paul"

Ringo Starr: "God bless Aretha Franklin the queen of soul and peace and love to her family"

The Rolling Stones: "Very sad to hear the news about Aretha, she was so inspiring and wherever you were she always brought you to church."

Keith Richards: "It’s a sad day but what a glorious lady. Her voice says it all!"

Brian Wilson: "I’m very sad to hear about Aretha Franklin passing. She was one of the greatest and most emotional singers. I used to love listening to her in the sixties but her music is timeless. Love & Mercy to Aretha’s family and friends."

Elton John: "The loss of ArethaFranklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church. Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated – she was one of my favourite pianists. I was fortunate enough to spend time with her and witness her last performance -- a benefit for at ejaf at St John The Divine Cathedral. She was obviously unwell, and I wasn’t sure she could perform. But Aretha did and she raised the roof. She sang and played magnificently, and we all wept. We were witnessing the greatest soul artist of all time. I adored her and worshipped her talent. God bless her. My condolences to all her family and friends. We shared the same birthday -- and that meant so much to me. The whole world will miss her but will always rejoice in her remarkable legacy. The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen. Love Elton"

Carole King: "What a life. What a legacy! So much love, respect and gratitude."

Diana Ross: "I’m sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin."

Lisa Marie Presley: "Today has always been a hard day for me, and now the “Queen Of Soul” Aretha Franklin has left us, this loss saddens my heart not only was she a fellow Memphian, but she was also my inspiration to sing."

Ted Nugent: "Aretha Franklin showed us the way to the mountaintop of soul Thankyou queen we love you only forever"

Axl Rose: "RESPECT 2 the Queen!!!"

Clive Davis: "I’m absolutely devastated by Aretha’s passing. She was truly one of a kind. She was more than the Queen of Soul. She was a national treasure to be cherished by every generation throughout the world."

Tony Bennett: "It was a double thrill for me to perform on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera on my 85th birthday and have the Queen of Soul (and heart) Aretha Franklin singing with me....she will be missed by the world."

Bette Midler: "The greatest voice in American popular music has been stilled. Our beloved #ArethaFranklin has gone. For me, she was a musical lighthouse, guiding and inspiring with every note. I loved her so and love her still. Goodbye, Queen of Soul."

Willie Nelson: "Whether it was Gospel, Blues, Jazz, R&B, Pop,or Civil Rights, Aretha Franklin was the greatest gift and the voice of a generation. She could turn any song into a hymn. She will be greatly missed here on earth, but that band in heaven just got our Angel. Rest In Peace Aretha"

Barack Obama: “Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade—our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace.” 

Michelle Obama: “Watching Aretha Franklin perform at the White House, and on so many other occasions, made time stand still. @BarackObama and I are holding Aretha’s family in our hearts right now. She will forever be our Queen of Soul.”

Hilary Clinton: “Mourning the loss today of @ArethaFranklin 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.”

Patti LaBelle: “I am deeply saddened about the passing of the Queen of Soul and my sister in song, Aretha Franklin. Today the world has experienced a tremendous loss. Aretha was a rare treasure whose unmatched musical genius helped craft the soundtrack to the lives of so many. My sympathy, love and prayers go out to her family, loved ones and fans around the globe.” 

Brandy: “I can’t believe this.... #ArethaFranklin ..although you have transitioned into the omnipresence of God, you are forever #immortal ... Your music lives on through all of us. Thank you so much for unchaining every door for so many of us to walk through.” 

Mariah Carey: “Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul. The Icon. The ultimate singers' singer. The greatest singer and musician of my lifetime. The power of your voice in music and in civil rights blew open the door for me and so many others. You were my inspiration, my mentor and my friend. You showed me I could sing the songs I wanted to sing and bring God with me. You've inspired millions everywhere yet never left home, never left church. Today the entire world mourns your home-going and celebrates all the brilliance you left behind. I will forever cherish the moments I spent in your presence. Your indelible impact was earned not only by your incomparable voice but by your bigger than life personality, wit and humor. I say a BIG prayer for you. You will forever have all our RESPECT. Love, Mariah ♥️” 

Ava DuVernay: “Looking out on the morning rain / I used to feel so uninspired / And when I knew / I had to face another day / Lord, it made me feel so tired / Before the day I met you / Life was so unkind / But you’re the key to / My peace of mind.” Her voice/swagger was peerless. Thank you, #ArethaFranklin”

Kelly Rowland: “This is truly a sad day. rest peacefully queen. icon. my sincere condolences to her family. #ArethaFranklin”

Lena Waithe: “The world won’t be the same without you in it. You will always have our utmost respect. #RipArethaFranklin” 

Missy Elliott: “Rest easy #ARETHAFRANKLIN I imagine u in heaven performing & still making people souls move🙌🏾 this was my aunt favorite record #RockSteady you will always be the Queen of Soul you been that before many of us were born! Thank you for giving us LEGENDARY TIMELESS music”


Lauryn Hill: “Rest In Peace to our Queen of Soul. Her contribution to music and to the  empowerment and enrichment of our hearts, Spirits and souls is immeasurable. Thank you Ms. Aretha Franklin for sharing your anointed gifts with us. They changed the world. We are deeply grateful! ♥️MLH” 

Talib Kweli: “The Queen. This is a hard one. Lost my Grandma 2 weeks ago. Aretha was one of her favorites. Aretha has always been my favorite. I have already been in Aretha mode of the past couple of weeks due to my grandma passing. I feel like Aretha went to meet her. God bless Aretha Franklin. She literally provided a soundtrack to my life.” 

Lil Wayne: “We lost a Queen today but heaven gained an angel. Rest in peace to the legend Ms. Aretha Franklin”

Chance the Rapper: “The moment I wake up, before I put on my make up, I say a little prayer for you.” 

Gucci Mane: “RIP Aretha Franklin”

John Legend: “Salute to the Queen. The greatest vocalist I've ever known. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 #Aretha”

Juicy J: “R.I.P. Aretha Franklin Queen Of Soul 🙏🏿”

Lenny Kravitz: “The Queen of Soul has left this earth to sit on her throne in heaven. How blessed we were to hear the best that God had to offer in her voice. RESPECT!”

Lin-Manuel Miranda: “Lucky enough to have seen Aretha live exactly once, and this was it. Thank you for the music, we will be listening to you forever.” 

Shonda Rhimes: “Aretha.”

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