John Legend Joins Chorus Saluting Aretha Franklin: 'Salute to the Queen'

From one Legend to another — John Legend joins the world in mourning Aretha Franklin, who died Thursday in her Detroit home.

"Salute to the Queen. The greatest vocalist I've ever known. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 #Aretha," the "All of Me" singer tweeted Thursday morning.

Legend joins celebrities like Lionel Richie, Paul McCartney and Carole King who took to social media to mourn the Queen of Soul's death and celebrate her life and her music.

"What a life. What a legacy! So much love, respect and gratitude," tweeted King, who penned Franklin's hit "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."

McCartney shared a photo of a young Franklin and wrote, "Let's all take a moment to give thanks for the beautiful life of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of our souls, who inspired us all for many many years. She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever. Love Paul."

"Her voice; her presence; her style. No one did it better. Truly the Queen of Soul. I will miss you!" Richie said in a statement to Variety.

After reports this week detailed the Queen of Soul was "gravely ill," Franklin's publicist told the Associated Press that her official cause of death was advanced pancreatic cancer. She was 76 years old.

"In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family," Franklin's family added in the statement from her publicist.

"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. 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," the family's statement continued.

Funeral arrangements will reportedly be made in the coming days.

Reports of Franklin being "gravely ill" took over the news cycle this week, months after Franklin had been forced to cancel multiple concerts per doctor's orders. Last year, she announced that she planned to retire from performing, save for big events like Elton John's annual AIDS Foundation gala in November 2017.

"This will be my last year," Franklin told ClickOnDetroit in February 2017. "I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it."

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Franklin and her family moved to Detroit when she was 4 years old. There, her father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, became one of the most well-known black Baptist preachers in the country, and was especially important to the civil rights movement on a local level.


A gospel singer for much of her early life, Franklin's career reached new heights starting in the late 1960s with "Respect," "Chain of Fools," "I Say a Little Prayer" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."