She turned a song about a moaning husband into an anthem for women and minorities across the globe. Respect is the overwhelming thought about Aretha Franklin – a symbol of civil rights, of women’s liberation, who broke barriers and records as she went.
She died at the age of 76, after a long illness. Stars and fans have rushed to pay tribute to her and her extraordinary voice.
Diana Ross said she was ‘sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit of Aretha Franklin’. Sir Elton John called her death ‘a blow for everyone who loved real music’. And former US President Barack Obama said she had helped define the American experience.