Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump and other politicians were among the many mourning the loss of legendary singer Aretha Franklin Thursday and paying tribute to the storied legacy of the “Queen of Soul”.
“She will be missed!” he added.
Trump had met Franklin before he was president, in 1997, at the grand opening of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City.
Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Franklin “one of America’s greatest national treasures.”
“For more than 50 years, she stirred our souls. She was elegant, graceful, and utterly uncompromising in her artistry,” the Clintons said in a joint statement Thursday.
“I’ll always be grateful for her kindness and support, including her performances at both my inaugural celebrations, and for the chance to be there for what sadly turned out to be her final performance last November at a benefit supporting the fight against HIV/AIDS,” the 42nd president said.
Hillary Clinton also shared her condolences separately on Twitter.
“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,” she wrote.
Georgia congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis recalled how Franklin “embodied what we were fighting for, and her music strengthened us” during the civil rights movement.
“When we would be released from jail after a non-violent protest, we might go to a late night club and let the music of Aretha Franklin fill our hearts,” Lewis said in a statement. “She was like a muse whose songs whispered the strength to continue on. Her music gave us a greater sense of determination to never give up or give in, and to keep the faith.”
Lewis said Franklin had “a lifelong, unwavering commitment to civil rights and was one of the strongest supporters of the movement.”
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said, “the world has lost an incredible talent and musical icon.”
“One of Detroit’s greatest residents, Aretha will long be remembered as the ‘Queen of Soul’ and her presence will be missed dearly,” Snyder tweeted Thursday.
Franklin died Thursday at 76 at her home in Detroit, surrounded by family and friends, according to a statement on behalf of Franklin’s family from her longtime publicist Gwendolyn Quinn. Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days, according to the statement.
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