Barbra Streisand, Sir Paul McCartney, and Hugh Jackman are leading the tributes to Aretha Franklin following the news of her death.
The Queen of Soul lost her battle with pancreatic cancer on Thursday morning (16Aug18), at her home in Detroit, Michigan, aged 76.
Members of her family have confirmed the sad news in a statement issued to The Associated Press, which reads: “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.
“The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.”
Aretha’s loved ones go on to thank fans for the “incredible outpouring of love and support” they have been receiving ever since the music icon was reported to be “gravely ill” on Monday (13Aug18).
“Thank you for your compassion and prayers,” they add. “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.”
Many of the singer’s celebrity friends and fans have been taking to social media to honour her memory after learning of her passing.
Barbra Streisand was among the first stars to remember Aretha on Twitter by posting a snap of the pair posing together in 2012.
“It’s difficult to conceive of a world without her,” Streisand writes. “Not only was she a uniquely brilliant singer, but her commitment to civil rights made an indelible impact on the world”.
“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,” McCartney adds. “She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever.”
Rocker Lenny Kravitz gave a shout out to her classic hit Respect as he paid tribute: “The Queen of Soul has left this earth to sit on her throne in heaven,” he tweets. “How blessed we were to hear the best that God had to offer in her voice. RESPECT!”
“One of the highlights of my career was singing with #ArethaFranklin at The Tony Awards,” Hugh Jackman recalls of their 2005 duet of Somewhere from West Side Story. “It was an out of body experience for me. One of greatest singers of all time. You will be missed by all.”
Crooner Tom Jones adds, “Aretha, you lifted our hearts with your incomparable gifts, RIP, your party will never be over,” and former Destiny’s Child star Kelly Rowland posts, “this is truly a sad day. rest peacefully queen. icon. my sincere condolences to her family.”
“Oh @ArethaFranklin your voice will continue to shake the ground, fill the soul and inspire many generations to come. Let’s say a little prayer,” tweets singer/songwriter Linda Perry, referencing another of the soul legend’s hits.
Broadway stars Idina Menzel and Lin-Manuel Miranda also mourned her death by celebrating her immense talents.
“Goodbye Ms. Aretha. You were my idol. The greatest singer of all time. Every note you sang was pure and authentic and pierced our hearts with joy and pain and life,” offers Idina, as Lin-Manuel writes, “Lucky enough to have seen Aretha live exactly once… Thank you for the music, we will be listening to you forever”.
Other tributes also poured in from actors Jamie Lee Curtis, John Stamos, and Kristin Davis, as well as British rocker Liam Gallagher, and pop star Ricky Martin, who declares: “Today we have lost one of the greatest. She will always be remembered and admired. Aretha Franklin, rest in peace. We love you.”