The Recording Academy Thursday greeted news of Aretha Franklin’s death with praise for her as “an incomparable artist.” Franklin died earlier Thursday at her home in Detroit. She was 76.
During her six-decade career, Aretha Franklin earned 44 Grammy nominations, 18 Grammy Awards, and was recognized by the Recording Academy on several occasions for her accomplishments as an artist and philanthropist, Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow said in a statement.
“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,” he 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 said that “Aretha Franklin was 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.”
At 11 a.m., Najee Ali of of Project Islamic Hope and other Los Angeles black community leaders in Los Angeles will lay flowers on Franklin’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the 6900 block of Hollywood Boulevard. They will also say a prayer.
“Aretha had a voice that was truly a divine gift from God,” Ali said. “She used her gift not only to entertain the world with timeless hit records, but also to be staunch champion of civil rights and social justice. Her legacy will never be forgotten.”