'An Incredible Force, a Trailblazer': Harvey Levin Pays Tribute to Aretha Franklin

Beyonce and Aretha Franklin

She won a Grammy for her 1972 gospel album "Amazing Grace".

Hillary Clinton tweeted, "She deserves not only our RESPECT but also our lasting gratitude for opening our eyes, ears and hearts".

At the inauguration of Barack Obama in January 2009, where she sang My Country Tis of Thee: An oversized, rhinestone-studded bow, tilting outrageously into Internet infamy.

"R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me", she sang.

Franklin died on Thursday in Detroit where familiy and friends had gathered during her final days, her publicist told United States media.

CNN reporter Don Lemon was lucky to be told that legendary singer Aretha Franklin called him one of her favorite reporters on television. A month later it would be the opening track on her breakthrough album, "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You".

Aretha Louise Franklin was born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis to Rev. Clarence La Vaughn and Barbara Franklin, both of whom were also gospel singers.

"Notable hits included "Respect", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and "I Say A Little Prayer".

Here's a look back at some of Franklin's most memorable moments in Washington.

Singer John Legend wrote: "Salute to the Queen". Franklin's phrasing at the beginning of "Prayer" is fleet and lilting, like stones skipping across a lake; by the end, her vocal lines have become one long, cool skim, as if she's coming in for a landing, heading straight for the home waiting for her at the end of the song. If its not the most empowering pop song ever, its in the conversation. "I'll be pretty much satisfied, but I'm not going to go anywhere and just sit down and do nothing". Being encouraged to stay true to her roots and beliefs was very good for Franklin's music career. In doing so she set the stage for the technical virtuosity of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. Despite obvious talent, her early years at Columbia Records produced songs in a range of styles, including doo-wop and jazz.

Franklin was the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She had another at 14 and suffered an abusive marriage at the age of 19.

"This show is dedicated to Aretha Franklin", she said.

That same year, Detroit named a street after her.

Music producer and Franklin's long-time friend Clive Davis announced the movie at his annual pre-Grammys party when introducing Hudson, who performed a medley of Franklin's hits Think, Rock Steady and Natural Woman.

Upstaging Pavarotti and making the president cry: All in a days work for the worlds greatest singer.

The plaudits of her work weren't only from within the music industry, however, and in 2005 Franklin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-US President George W Bush.

Franklin, who had battled undisclosed health issues in recent years, had announced her retirement from touring last year.

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