The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, was more than just a singer. She broke barriers, overcame hardships, and fought for civil rights.

Because of her hard work and talent, Aretha Franklin was the first female inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She earned her the National Medal of the Art, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and numerous honorary degrees.

What about her music resonated so well? Perhaps it is, as President Obama put it after one of her performances:

Nobody embodies more fully the connection between the African-American spiritual, the blues, R&B, rock and roll—the way that hardship and sorrow were transformed into something full of beauty and vitality and hope.

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