Aretha Franklin’s death inspires tributes from Elton John and LGBT icons

LGBT+ icons are celebrating the life of soul singer Aretha Franklin by leaving heartfelt tributes on the Queen of Soul’s extraordinary talent and life.

Elton John, a friend and also a fan of Franklin, posted a long tribute to the legendary performer on social media.

John introduced her as “the greatest singer of all time” at Franklin’s last public performance during Elton’s AIDS Foundation benefit in New York last November.

“The loss of Aretha Franklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church,” he wrote.

“Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated – she was one of my favourite pianists. I was fortunate enough to spend time with her and witness her last performance – a benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York.

She was obviously unwell, and I wasn’t sure she could perform. But Aretha did and she raised the roof. 
She sang and played magnificently, and we all wept,” John wrote.

Aretha Franklin performs onstage during the “Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives” Premiere Concert on April 19, 2017 in New York City (Theo Wargo/Getty for Tribeca Film Festival)

Other queer icons and performers also paid their respects and admiration for the singer, who died aged 76.

Diana Ross wrote on Twitter: “I’m sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin.”

Missy Elliott said:My prayers are with Aretha Franklin & her family during this difficult time… we MUST CELEBRATE the Living Legends while they are here to see it. So many have given us decades of Timeless music.”

Britney Spears posted a tribute on Twitter which read: “The world lost an incredibly talented woman today. Rest In Peace, @ArethaFranklin… your legacy and music will forever inspire us and future generations.”

While Ariana Grande tweeted a simple post on Twitter with the caption ‘Forever’ followed by a number of love hearts.

Other tributes were also left by world leaders both present and past as President Donald Trump, and the Obama family shared their condolences.

According to a family statement, the cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type. The announcement of her passing comes two days after rumours emerged the singer was “seriously ill” and surrounded by her loved ones.

Among her memorable performances, one that stands out is her duet with George Michael for the 1987 smash hit “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me).”

The song, which was being shared on Twitter on Thursday following news of Franklin’s death, would earn the Queen of Soul her last No.1 hit single in both UK and US, and it won Michael his first Grammy, enshrining his status as a soul superstar.