It’s almost been two years since we lost The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin to pancreatic cancer at just 76 years old. Throughout her 50 year career, Ms. Franklin has touched numerous souls and provided the soundtrack for many countless life moments.
In honor of Aretha’s incomparable legacy, check these heartwarming photos The Queen and some of the famous folks who loved on her over the years.
Happy Birthday, Queen. You are missed.
1. The Queen & Alicia KeysSource:Getty
When it comes to soul legacy, Alicia Keys is sort of like the heir to the Aretha throne. Keys has cited Ms. Franklin as one of her greatest influences. And Aretha once covered Alicia’s song “No One” for her “Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics” in 2014.
2. The Queen & Coretta Scott KingSource:Getty
Aretha was extremely instrumental in shaping the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s. It’s no surprise she wound up befriending all the brave, powerful civil rights leaders of the time, including Coretta Scott King and her husband Martin Luther King.
3. The Queen & Patti LaBelleSource:Getty
There has been rumors of beef between the celebrated divas for over 40 years now, and although they’re both GOATs in their own right, even Patti LaBelle has said that Aretha Franklin is the greatest singer of all time.
4. The Queen & Smokey RobinsonSource:Getty
Aretha Franklin ans Smokey Robinson go all the way back to performing duets on Soul Train together since the late 70’s. Dear friends indeed.
5. The Queen & J.T.Source:Getty
Just like most artists who are known for their sangin’, Justin Timberlake went from being a young fan of the legend to becoming one of her music colleagues.
6. The Queen & James Earl JonesSource:Getty
Aretha only surrounds herself with legends. Which would explain why her and James Earl Jones have been close pals for so many years.
7. The Queen & DiddySource:Getty
“Black Music” would be totally different if it wasn’t for Ms. Franklin. An icon like Diddy knows to acknowledge a legend when he sees one.
8. The Queen & BrandySource:Getty
There would be no Brandy without Aretha Franklin and B-Rocka always shows love to the greats that came before her. Brandy and Aretha have so much in common that B even won the Aretha Franklin Entertainer of the Year award at the 2002 Lady Of Soul Awards.
9. The Queen & Stevie WonderSource:Getty
Stevie has lost so many friends over the years. His friendship with Aretha spans almost five decades. On Tuesday Just two days before she passed he went to visit her after finding out that she was gravely ill.
10. The Queen & Jesse JacksonSource:Getty
Aretha has also been friends with Jesse for many, many years. He went to visit the legend just two days before she passed.
11. The Queen & Jordin SparksSource:Getty
Aretha’s 25th Studio Album also served as the soundtrack for the 1976 film “Sparkle”. Almost 40 years later, she meets one of her biggest fans, who also starred in the ‘Sparkle’ remake — Jordin Sparks.
12. The Queen & OprahSource:Getty
Oprah may be a Queen in her own right — but she’s not the Queen of Soul. However, she stans Aretha Franklin harder than some of us stan Beyonce.
13. The Queen & Don CorneliusSource:Getty
Aretha and Don have been friends since the Queen’s early days in the music industry. She even credited some of her career success to her numerous appearances on his show Soul Train.
14. The Queen with Robert De Niro & Wife Grace HightowerSource:Getty
De Niro and Grace love them some Aretha. So much so that De Niro was extremely instrumental in helping to get the Aretha documentary green-lit.
15. Aretha FranklinSource:Getty
The Clintons stan hard for Ms. Franklin. She sang “I Dreamed A Dream” at Bill Clinton’s presidential inauguration in 1993.
16. The Queen & Ron IsleySource:Getty
Aretha and Ron are brother and sisters in soul with a friendship spanning more than 40 years. They even did a duet together entitled “You’ve Got A Friend”.
17. The Queen with John Belushi & Dan AkroydSource:Getty
After her culture shifting role in the 1980 movie “The Blues Brothers”, Aretha became good friends with the stars of the film, Dan Akroyd and John Belushi.
18. The Queen & Whoopie GoldbergSource:Getty
Whoopie has never been shy about her love for Aretha — and Aretha always returned the love. The Queen of Soul even even wrote the song “Pride (A Deeper Love)” for Whoopi’s movie ‘Sister Act 2’.
19. The Queen & Mariah CareySource:Getty
MC loves her some Aretha. Their birthdays are two days apart and Aretha set the tone for what it means to be a Diva. They became close during Mariah’s rise in the 90’s.
20. The Queen & Phylicia RashadSource:Getty
The Queen of Soul and the Queen of TV Moms met back in the late 80’s and have remained buddies ever since.
21. The Queen & Janelle MonaeSource:Getty
It’s always nice when your idols become your friends instead of your rivals. Aretha’s legacy will certainly live on in Monae.
22. The Queen with Denzel Washington and Clive DavisSource:Getty
People become friends for different reasons. Clive always believed in Aretha, even when she didn’t believe in herself. Denzel Washington is a Black Hollywood legend, so it only makes sense to have legendary friends.
23. The Queen & Jennifer HudsonSource:Getty
Jennifer Hudson is the only singer in the past decade to be compared to Aretha, and it not sound ridiculous. The voice, the Diva undertones. Let’s hope J. Hud is singing in every single Aretha tribute to come.