BY JOANNA C. VALENTE
The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, has passed away at age 76 in her Detroit home after battling pancreatic cancer, according to NPR. As NPR stated, "Franklin sold more than 75 million records during her life, making her one of the best-selling artists of all time. She took soul to a new level and inspired generations of singers who came after her.
No one's life can be condensed to one word — but Aretha Franklin came close when she sang one word: 'respect.'"
It's hard to wrap my head around her death. It's hard for us, collectively, to understand what it means to lose an icon who changed the way we think. This is why I rounded up some of my favorite songs by her to commemorate her beauty, art, and brilliance:
I Say a Little Prayer
A Change Is Gonna Come
(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Oh Happy Day
Chain of Fools
Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York. They are the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014),The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Marys of the Sea (Operating System, 2017), Sexting Ghosts (Unknown Press, 2018), Xenos (Agape Editions, 2016), and the editor of A Shadow Map: Writing by Survivors of Sexual Assault (CCM, 2017). They received their MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College. Joanna is the founder of Yes Poetry and the managing editor for Luna Luna Magazine. Some of their writing has appeared in Brooklyn Magazine, Prelude, BUST, Spork Press, and elsewhere. Joanna also leads workshops at Brooklyn Poets. joannavalente.com / Twitter: @joannasaid / IG: joannacvalente