A memorial of flowers, cards, photos and even records grew throughout the day Thursday on the Hollywood Walk of Fame star of Aretha Franklin as the world mourned the death of “Queen of Soul” at age 76.
Franklin, who musically demanded “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” and had a soaring voice that could conquer any genre, died at her home in Detroit.
She was the first woman ever inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She sang at President Barack Obama’s inauguration, was ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as the best singer of all-time and will forever be remembered by movie buffs for belting out an iconic version of her anthem “Think” in the cult comedy “The Blues Brothers.”
During her six-decade career, Franklin earned 44 Grammy nominations, 18 Grammy Awards, and was recognized by the Santa Monica-based Recording Academy on several occasions for her accomplishments as an artist and philanthropist.
“We were privileged to honor her with the Recording Academy’s Grammy Legend Award in 1991, the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994 and as the 2008 MusiCares Person of the Year for her extraordinary artistic achievements and charitable efforts,” Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow said. “Her distinctive sound, unforgettable recordings and giving spirit will continue to be celebrated worldwide. Aretha will be dearly missed, and our thoughts go out to her loved ones during this difficult time.”
Portnow called Franklin “an incomparable artist who came to be recognized as one of the most profound voices in music. Known universally as the Queen of Soul, she solidified her legendary status in the late 1960s with chart-topping recordings that included `Respect, `A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like)’ and `Think.”’
Fans descended on her Walk of Fame when news of her death broke early Thursday. The Hollywood Historic Trust placed an impressive floral wreath at her star, which was surrounded by bouquets and condolence messages. Fans crowded with media around the star, snapping photos of the display.
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