Press Releases

CBC Statement on the Passing of American Legend Aretha Franklin

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Washington, August 16, 2018 | comments

Today, the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressman Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA-02), released the following statement in reaction to the news that Aretha Franklin passed away:

“It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of one of the most important figures in American culture, Aretha Franklin. The Congressional Black Caucus sends out its deepest condolences to her family at this incredibly difficult time. We are so thankful that the Lord shared her with us and now that she is transitioning back home, the CBC lifts up her name in celebration and adulation. Not only was she a once in a lifetime vocal talent and musical genius, but she was also well known to those who followed her as a benefactor and supporter of critically important movements and figures. She was a leader in the black community because of her strength and generosity of spirit.

She was dubbed the Queen of Soul because of the magnitude of her musical creations and because to date no one has been able to match her level of genius. Rarely are artists able to transcend their medium to influence life beyond the stage, but she did just that. Who can forget Aretha’s magnificent performance at President Obama’s first inauguration? How many times have we been brought to tears thanks to her angelic delivery, her grace, her power?  Her leadership paved the way for countless artists that have walked in her footsteps and it is no exaggeration to say that American culture would not be what it is today without her contributions. Her music moved paupers and presidents because it was genuine and came from her heart.

We celebrate Aretha’s life not just because of her musical gifts but because of the blessings she bestowed on her community. We are all better because of what she has done and her legend will endure forever. Aretha we thank you, we love you and we will miss you.”

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