Singers and musicians quickly flooded social media in mourning her passing, which came on the same day that fellow United States music giant Elvis Presley died at his home in Memphis, the city where Franklin was born, 41 years ago.
'We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on.
"We were witnessing the greatest soul artist of all time".
The family has not announced plans for a funeral or a memorial, but there are already plans for multiple memorials in various forms in Aretha's hometown.
Franklin, who sang with matchless style on such classics as "Think, ' "I Say a Little Prayer" and her signature song, 'Respect", announced her retirement from touring past year. Franklin was among the performers at Elton John's annual AIDS Foundation gala past year in NY.
The same year the hall of fame honored her, Franklin again recorded sacred music at New Bethel for the album "One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism", which won a Grammy for best soul performance.
John Legend declared Franklin "the greatest vocalist I've ever known".
Streisand wrote that it's "difficult to conceive of a world without her" alongside a photo of them together in 2012.
Hillary Clinton tweeted, "She deserves not only our RESPECT but also our lasting gratitude for opening our eyes, ears and hearts". "In her prime, Aretha's voice took listeners to a place that few other artists' voices could take them", Carpenter said. In 1972, her album Amazing Grace highlighted her gospel background.
The Queen of Soul remained a prominent face - and voice - for African American civil rights throughout her life.
After news of her death broke Thursday, fans who remembered seeing the legendary diva in her heyday flocked to the Apollo with flowers. Producer Jerry Wexler had the good sense to put her voice and piano at the center of a kicking Southern rhythm section, stand back and let her be. I'll always be grateful for her kindness and support, including her performances at both my inaugural celebrations, and for the chance to be there for what sadly turned out to be her final performance last November at a benefit supporting the fight against HIV/Aids.
She influenced generations of female singers with unforgettable hits including "Respect" (1967), "Natural Woman" (1968) and "I Say a Little Prayer" (1968). "Michelle and I send our prayers and warmest sympathies to her family and all those moved by her song".
'My condolences to all her family and friends.
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