Aretha Franklin Honored by Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is honoring Aretha Franklin, the first woman inducted into the hall, with a special tribute at its museum in Cleveland.

According to TMZ, the Rock Hall has put a special Valentino dress Franklin donated to the museum. Franklin wore the dress at a special Radio City Music Hall concert in 1979.

"The first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Aretha Franklin was an artist of passion, sophistication and command, whose recordings remain anthems that defined soul music. Long live the Queen," Greg Harris, the Rock Hall President and CEO said in a statement.

In 1987, Franklin became the first woman inducted into the Rock Hall as part of its second class. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards delivered the induction speech. The two worked together on a 1986 recording of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" for the Whoopi Goldberg movie Jumpin' Jack Flash.

"I don’t think there’s anybody I have known who possesses an instrument like hers and who has such a thorough background in gospel, the blues and the essential black-music idiom," Atlantic Records co-founder Atlantic Records Ahmet Ertegun told the Rock Hall. "She is blessed with an extraordinary combination of remarkable urban sophistication and deep blues feeling...The result is maybe the greatest singer of our time."

Franklin also received 18 Grammy Awards, winning the Best Female R&B Performance Grammy every year from 1968 to 1975. She also received the Recording Academy's Legend Award in 1991, the Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 1994 and was the 2008 MusiCares Person of the Year.

She also received the National Arts Medal in 1999 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, in 2005. She was a Kennedy Center Honoree in 1994.

Three Franklin singles are also in the Grammy Hall of Fame — "Respect," "Chain of Fools" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman." Her albums Amazing Grace (1972) and I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You (1967) have also been inducted.

The Queen of Soul died Thursday morning at 76 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

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"We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers," Franklin's family said in a statement. "We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time."

Photo credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images