Aretha Franklin — the Queen of Soul and one of the world’s most iconic singers — has died aged 76.
Over five decades she had more than 100 singles on the Billboard charts, blazing a trail for African-American artists and helping make soul music something of a global language.
“Respect” was her most famous song and it was about a lot more than pop music. Yes, it talked about romantic dramas and relationships, but it was also a call for upholding human dignity more generally.
Writing in her autobiography, she said: “It was the need of the nation, the need of the average man and woman in the street, the businessman, the mother, the fireman, the teacher — everyone wanted respect.”
Her other tracks, including “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Chain of Fools” and “Do Right Woman — Do Right Man” all helped paint the image of strong and sensual women standing on their own and overcoming their challenges.
It’s no wonder countless stars from the world of Eurovision — including Dami Im, Destiny Chukunyere and Cesar Sampson — have cited her as inspiration. We join them in remembering Aretha and saying a little prayer for her family and friends.
Netta Barzilai — Israel 2018
When I was 12, I used to skip back and forth in our house with a little Walkman my father bought me while listening to the radio. For a moment the broadcaster mumbled something in English and then he also played a remix to some song I had never heard before, and I just froze. pic.twitter.com/iYydsvS2CW
— Netta Barzilai (@NettaBarzilai) August 16, 2018
Celine Dion — Switzerland 1988
I'm saddened to learn that Aretha Franklin has passed.The most soulful and inspirational singer of our time. / Je suis attristée d'apprendre le décès d’Aretha Franklin. La chanteuse la plus inspirante de notre époque. – Céline xx…
? : Kevin Mazur https://t.co/3Tz7G2W205 pic.twitter.com/Q5DtmJ1IVa
— Celine Dion (@celinedion) August 16, 2018
Waylon — The Netherlands 2018 and 2016
— Waylon (@waylonline) August 16, 2018
Alfred Garcia — Spain 2018
Gracias a la energía de este universo por traernos la salvación de #ArethaFranklin. Su música nos inspiró y su estudio vocal nos ha servido a tantos como modelo a seguir… Se va dejando una parte de ella en todos nosotros. Historia de la música y de los derechos humanos.
— Alfred García (@alfredgarcia) August 16, 2018
Ira Losco — Malta 2016 and 2002
Yianna Terzi — Greece 2018
Lindita — Albania 2017
Oh Beautiful miss Aretha! Heaven gained another angel to sing for them like only you could ????I know there is a big welcome party up there for you ! ?? Rest in Heaven! We will miss you as we celebrate… https://t.co/IhHpmRF9Gq
— LINDITA (@LinditaWorld) August 16, 2018
HOVIG — Cyprus 2016
— HOVIG (@hovigmusic) August 16, 2018
Aleksander Wallmann — Norway 2017
Edurne — Spain 2015
— Edurne (@Edurnity) August 16, 2018
Guy Sebastian — Australia 2015
Alex Larke — United Kingdom 2015
The very, very best has gone.
— Alex Larke (@AlexLarke) August 16, 2018
Pastora Soler — Spain 2012
— Pastora Soler (@PastoraSoler) August 16, 2018