Civil Rights Leader, Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery issued the following statement on the passing of Aretha Franklin:
“I’m saddened to hear about the loss of our Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Aretha is a legend. She not only provided the soundtrack for the Civil Rights Movement, Aretha’s music transcended race, nationality, and religion and helped people from all backgrounds to recognize what they had in common.
“In addition to having an extraordinary voice, Aretha was a kind and God-fearing woman who loved her family, friends, and community. My late wife and I were honored to have the icon come to Atlanta to sing for two benefit concerts for the Lowery Institute. I remember her singing her heart out for my 88th birthday celebration. We will miss her strong voice and infectious spirit, but songs like RESPECT and Say A Little Prayer will continue to keep our nation focused on achieving the dream her father, Rev. C. L. Franklin and others in the movement envisioned.