After a long fight with pancreatic cancer, the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin has sadly passed at age 76.
As the first woman to be admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, her legacy will continue to affect the music world for generations to come. Aretha Franklin is one of the most influential and important voices in pop history, influencing other great vocalists such as Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, George Michael, Alicia Keys, and Mary J. Blige.
Aretha Franklin proved her vocal prowess when she gave a legendary performance at the 1998 Grammy Awards, where she stepped in for Luciano Pavarotti. She performed "Nessun Dorma", a notoriously challenging song, last minute. However, her vocals were flawless in front of an estimated worldwide audience of 1 billion.
Her worldwide impact will last years, and renowned leaders such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton mourn today's loss in music.
Her legacy goes beyond music, as she had an activist drive during the Civil Rights Era which was encompassed in her music. With songs like "Respect," Aretha Franklin transformed Otis Redding's ballad into a slogan for blackness and womanhood. With themes from race, gender, to sexual freedom, Franklin's soul music was a conduit of black resistance.
We want to remember her legacy and her contribution to music with a special playlist. You can listen to it below or click here to open the playlist in Spotify.