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'No one did it better'

Reaction to the death of soul icon Aretha Franklin, who died Thursday:

"Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade_our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. She helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human. And sometimes she helped us just forget about everything else and dance." — Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, in a statement.

"This morning my longest friend in this world went home to be with our father. I will miss her so much but I know she's at peace." — Smokey Robinson, in a statement.

"The most consistent voice in music for 60 years has been Aretha Franklin's voice... The world of music has lost a bit of its soul." — Jesse Jackson, in an AP interview.

"It's a sad day but what a glorious lady. Her voice says it all!" — Keith Richards, via Instagram.

"It's difficult to conceive of a world without her. Not only was she a uniquely brilliant singer, but her commitment to civil rights made an indelible impact on the world." — Barbra Streisand, via Twitter.

"Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul. The Icon. The ultimate singers' singer. The greatest singer and musician of my lifetime. The power of your voice in music and in civil rights blew open the door for me and so many others. You were my inspiration, my mentor and my friend." — Mariah Carey, via Twitter.

"A national treasure to everyone. But to me personally, Aretha Franklin was my dear, dear friend, my homegirl, and I loved her a lot. From seeing her as a baby singing and playing at the piano at her father's home, to her giving a rousing performance at the White House, she has always been amazing. No matter how the music has changed over the years, she remained so relevant." — Berry Gordy, in a statement.

"It seems very strange to wake up and hear that she passed today even though she lived such a long and fulfilled life. It's no secret that she's an icon. She is an icon of all icons... I don't know anyone she hasn't inspired." — Nicki Minaj on Apple Music.

"I'm absolutely devastated by Aretha's passing. She was truly one of a kind. She was more than the Queen of Soul. She was a national treasure to be cherished by every generation throughout the world. Apart from our long professional relationship, Aretha was my friend. Her loss is deeply profound and my heart is full of sadness." — Clive Davis, in a statement.

"Aretha was such a timeless inspiration to me and so many others, the ultimate queen, thank you for the gift of your voice, music and unshakeable soul." — Christina Aguilera, via Twitter.

"Her voice; her presence; her style. No one did it better. Truly the Queen of Soul. I will miss you!" — Lionel Richie, in a statement.

"Salute to the Queen. The greatest vocalist I've ever known." — John Legend, via Twitter.

"The loss of Aretha Franklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church. Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated — she was one of my favourite pianists." — Elton John, via Instagram.



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