The Queen Of Soul Aretha Franklin has died aged 76 in her hometown of Detroit, but her legacy has left an impact across the entire globe.
In a career spanning 60 years she touched the hearts of every American, including several presidents.
But it was Aretha’s performance of ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ at Kennedy Centre in 2015 that got to one US leader in particular.
In a touching moment that will long be remembered, President Obama shed a tear as Aretha sang at her piano.
Speaking about the moment, Obama did not hold back about how he felt about the soul legend.
He said: “Nobody embodies more fully the connection between the African-American spiritual, the blues, R&B. rock and roll - the way that hardship and sorrow were transformed into something full of beauty and vitality and hope.
“American history wells up when Aretha sings. That’s why, when she sits down at a piano and sings ‘A Natural Woman’ she can move me to tears - the same way Ray Charles’s version of ‘America The Beautiful’ will always be in my view the most patriotic piece of music ever performed - because it captures the fullness of the American experience, the view from the bottom as well as the top, the good and the bad, and the possibility of synthesis, reconciliation, transcendence.”
One of of her’s and Obama’s career highlights was when she played at his presidential inauguration in 2009.
She said of it at the time: “My performance? Oh boy, what an honour. It’s all but overwhelming. I think that most people — not just African-Americans — are looking and hoping for some kind of change in America, having to do with all of the critical issues that (Obama) and his administration are going to have to address, like foreclosure, the economy (and) crime.
“But I think they’re going to be highly successful. You have such an intelligent, high-level-IQ group of people. Whatever can be done is going to be done. I believe that.”
As tributes for Aretha continue to pour in, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is just one of those who has tweeted.
“Mourning the loss today of Aretha Franklin who shared her spirit and talent with the world,” she wrote.
“She deserves not only our respect but also our lasting gratitude for opening our eyes, ears and hearts. Rest in eternal peace, my friend.”