Tobi Akingbade, Metro
The Queen of Soul has passed away aged 76 following a battle with pancreatic cancer and as news of her death broke, celebrations and tributes from fans began pouring in with many sharing their favourite memories of Aretha. One of the most shared moments was when the singer demonstrated how artistically should could shade someone with just a few words. And it has left many smiling warmly at the expert effort.
The legendary singer was pressed by Wall Street Journal to give opinions on her successors in a speedy round, and not one to buckle under pressure Aretha called Adele, Whitney Houston and Alicia Keys various things like ‘good singer’, ‘good writer’ and ‘a talent’. But when it came to Taylor Swift, the 18-time Grammy winner said: ‘Okay, great gowns. Beautiful gowns.’ What, no comment on her vocal range? Just her stunning outfits? To be fair, Taylor has never really disappointed in the gown department. And when it came to rapper Nicki Minaj she hesitated comically and said: ‘Nicki Minaj … I’m going to pass on that one.’
The 2014 interview which has resurfaced online has left fans talking about the late singer’s method of avoiding negativity – neither the less it deserves some recognition in the Shade Hall of Fame. Fans have also remembered the time the Think singer called out a gossip columnist who body-shamed her for wearing clothes with a cleavage, and the time she made Barack Obama cry with a performance of (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman – and when she stole the show in the Blues Brothers film. The singer is the most charted artist on Billboard in the US, with 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top ten pop singles, and 100 R’n’B entries, with songs like Respect, Think and Spanish Harlem among some of the best known songs in soul.
In the wake of her passing, Franklin’s family said in a statement: ‘In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds. ‘We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.’