Saturday, May 25, 2024

Barack and Michelle Obama React to Aretha Franklin’s Death

*Former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama paid their respects to Aretha Franklin following her death.

The Queen of Soul died Thursday at the age of 76.

As noted by TheWrap, earlier this week, a person with direct knowledge of Franklin’s condition revealed that she was “seriously ill.”

“Aretha helped define the American experience,” the Obamas said in a statement Thursday, after Franklin’s death from pancreatic cancer. “In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade ― our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. She helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human. And sometimes she helped us just forget about everything else and dance.”

OTHER NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Aretha Franklin Has Died at Age 76

Obama had a visible emotional reaction during Franklin’s performance of Carole King’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at the Kennedy Center in December 2015.

“American history wells up when Aretha sings,” Obama later said in an email to The New Yorker.

“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,” he wrote.

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