In the hours after her death on Thursday, American R&B and Soul icon Aretha Franklin received an outpour of praise and love from fans across the globe. The tributes and homages that have been dedicated in her honor leave no doubt in our understanding of the ways in which the Queen of Soul’s legacy and her effect on the lives of her fans, musicians of today and popular music.
Born to two African-American parents in Memphis, Tennessee, Franklin wasn’t a Latina, but there’s no doubting the impact her voice and message had on Latinas of her time and of today’s current era.
Franklin’s greatest hits inspired female and Black empowerment as well as Latina Power.
In 1967, Franklin rearranged the lyrics and music to the song “Respect” which had originally been performed by Otis Redding. Her version, which stood as a declaration by a strong woman who knew what she had to offer became an anthem for both the Civil Rights and Women’s Rights movements. In this way, her version of the song quickly became associated with black freedom and women’s liberation, both movements that Afro-Latinas and other women of color were easily and closely affected by. In her time, Franklin’s influence and voice were so impactful to women in these communities that even artists like Celia Cruz, and La Lupe collaborated with her on music and covered version of her song. In 1969, La Lupe recreated her won a version of Franklin’s “Don’t Let Me Lose This Dream.”
A simple search of Franklin’s name on the artist’s trending hashtag on social media highlights her influence on today’s Latinas well.
On Thursday, Latinas on social media created tributes honoring the artist and her works after news of her death broke.
We honor you @ArethaFranklin on your trip to the beyond and I wish your family and friends peace in times like these. Rest In Peace, Queen of "SOUL" always and forever.
— Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) August 16, 2018
Various celebrities, including Dominican and Puerto Rican Marvel’s star Zoe Saldana, wrote well wishes to Franklin’s family and honored her with accounts of how she affected their lives.
While many are openly using platforms to mourn her death…
Qué día más triste, fallece Aretha Franklin, reina del soul, descansa en paz, reina.
— Quique (@34bm25) August 16, 2018
“What a sad day, died Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, rest in peace, Queen.”
And express the great sense of loss her absence has left behind…
can’t believe we lost aretha franklin today. #restwell
— ???????? ???????????????????? ♛ (@_itslareina) August 16, 2018
Franklin, who was reported to have been gravely ill earlier this week on August 13 had been experiencing a decline in her health for years. Reports suggest that her death was caused by advanced pancreatic cancer.
So many are sharing their love for the artist by quoting her famous lyrics.
So many women have shared stories of how Franklin’s music and lyrics helped them get through heartbreaks and struggles.
And using some of her most powerful lines to say their goodbyes.
— Inés Sifontes (@nessifontes) August 16, 2018
Literally, there’s been so much love for her.
wow que delicia al oído! ????????: estoy escuchando a Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics
— Liza María (@lizamaria) August 16, 2018
“Wow that delight in the ear! ????????: I’m listening to Aretha Franklin sings the Great Diva Classics”
And so many are sharing images from their favorite performances by the songstress.
— Rosa María Artal???? (@rosamariaartal) August 16, 2018
The lyrics from this particular song has been beloved for so long.
Here’s to La Reina de Soul
reading about aretha and celia cruz's friendship was a real treasure. she touched la lupe, juan gabriel & so many other icons in spanish-language music. rest in power, queen. ❤️https://t.co/aKdFLLg9sl
— Isabelia Herrera (@jabladoraaa) August 16, 2018