Obama honors Aretha Franklin with letter

President Barack Obama said singer Aretha Franklin "rocked the world of anyone who had the pleasure of hearing her voice" in a letter that was read during her funeral service to honor the "Queen of Soul.

Posted: Sep 2, 2018 3:45 PM
Updated: Sep 2, 2018 4:15 PM

President Barack Obama said singer Aretha Franklin "rocked the world of anyone who had the pleasure of hearing her voice" in a letter that was read during her funeral service Friday to honor the "Queen of Soul."

"Whether bringing people together through thrilling intersections of genres or advancing important causes through the power of song, Aretha's work reflected the very best of the American story, in all of its hope and heart, its boldness and its unmistakable beauty," the former president wrote in a letter -- which the Rev. Al Sharpton read -- on account of him and first lady Michelle Obama being unable to attend Friday's services in Detroit.

In his letter, Obama praised Franklin for embodying the "virtues of forgiveness and reconciliation" as an artist and citizen.

"While the music she made captured some of our deepest human desires, namely affection and respect, and through her voice, her own voice, Aretha lifted those of millions, empowering and inspiring the vulnerable, the downtrodden, and everyone who may have just needed a little love," he wrote.

Obama's letter honoring Franklin received a standing ovation from the funeral's attendees after Sharpton finished reading it. Another line from Sharpton that had the crowd gathered at Detroit's Greater Grace Temple on its feet was a barb at President Donald Trump.

"You know, the other Sunday on my show, I misspelled 'Respect' and a lot of y'all corrected me," Sharpton said. "Now I want y'all to help correct President Trump to teach him what it means."

He disputed Trump's remark when the President stated that Aretha "worked for me on numerous occasions" in offering condolences to the singer's family.

"No, she used to perform for you, she worked for us," Sharpton said Friday. "Aretha never took orders from nobody but God."

Franklin was also honored by another former president, George W. Bush, who remembered her as a "woman of achievement with a deep character and loving heart."

"She made important and lasting contributions to American music with her gospel-inspired style and distinctive voice," Bush wrote in a letter read by Franklin's friend, Barbara Sampson, during Friday's funeral service, which the Bushes were unable to attend.

Bush said he was honored to present Franklin with the nation's highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 2005.

"I am proud to have met Aretha and am grateful that her music will continue to bring joy to millions for generations to come," Bush wrote.

Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were among the many mourning Franklin at Friday's ceremony. Clinton will deliver remarks during the service later Friday.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 300913

Reported Deaths: 5332
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion41330845
Lake26364448
Allen17299290
Elkhart16665212
St. Joseph16319220
Hamilton12459164
Vanderburgh9428112
Tippecanoe826727
Porter791279
Johnson6139164
Hendricks5807154
Vigo574474
Monroe525247
Clark495374
Delaware4789103
Madison4760119
LaPorte446894
Kosciusko446139
Howard325575
Warrick316072
Floyd306177
Bartholomew303262
Wayne295261
Cass293431
Marshall289944
Grant258747
Noble246846
Hancock243749
Henry237136
Boone235154
Dubois230430
Dearborn208829
Jackson206033
Morgan200643
Knox178017
Gibson177022
Clinton174920
Shelby174554
Lawrence171646
DeKalb171229
Adams165219
Miami155114
Wabash153018
Daviess152243
Fayette145233
Steuben141113
Jasper138311
Harrison137624
LaGrange136629
Montgomery131226
Whitley129910
Ripley123714
Decatur123542
Huntington122310
Posey118913
Putnam118326
Wells118327
Randolph117819
White117421
Clay115621
Jefferson114214
Greene100253
Scott99818
Jay95012
Starke89221
Sullivan86615
Fulton81117
Perry80921
Jennings80514
Spencer8047
Fountain7378
Washington7176
Carroll66813
Franklin65925
Orange65728
Vermillion5832
Owen5816
Parke5416
Newton54012
Tipton53726
Rush5216
Blackford51211
Pike50218
Pulaski36810
Martin3485
Brown3263
Benton3251
Crawford2781
Union2621
Switzerland2473
Warren2352
Ohio2257
Unassigned0265

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 363304

Reported Deaths: 6020
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin49267665
Cuyahoga35214736
Hamilton29462371
Montgomery19636225
Butler14472144
Lucas14033409
Summit12962310
Stark8529197
Warren798975
Mahoning7068299
Lake662766
Lorain623697
Clermont563946
Delaware540335
Licking535875
Fairfield523763
Trumbull5159144
Greene510563
Clark501064
Allen460685
Marion457751
Wood4394107
Medina428654
Miami416465
Pickaway396448
Columbiana339597
Portage334471
Tuscarawas317557
Wayne314993
Richland306732
Mercer284737
Ross239259
Hancock232736
Muskingum231910
Auglaize223230
Putnam221449
Erie217165
Darke217058
Ashtabula215753
Geauga197351
Scioto193615
Union18658
Lawrence185436
Shelby184815
Athens18454
Seneca173118
Belmont158529
Madison156218
Sandusky152327
Preble148421
Huron147518
Defiance137921
Holmes137739
Logan123613
Knox122518
Fulton122025
Crawford119116
Ottawa118930
Washington116427
Clinton103414
Ashland102722
Williams10238
Jefferson10124
Highland99517
Henry98422
Brown9644
Champaign9345
Jackson90312
Van Wert8976
Fayette89217
Hardin86118
Morrow8552
Guernsey83313
Coshocton81413
Perry77012
Adams75012
Pike7261
Wyandot70516
Gallia70413
Paulding62710
Hocking61011
Noble59722
Carroll44310
Meigs37612
Monroe31021
Morgan2395
Vinton2105
Harrison1913
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 36°
Angola
Overcast
37° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 30°
Huntington
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 38°
Decatur
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 35°
Van Wert
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 35°
Rain Continues Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events