Read Barack and Michelle Obama’s Statement on the Passing of Aretha Franklin

“America has no royalty. But we do have a chance to earn something more enduring.”

Former president Barack Obama celebrates with Aretha Franklin at a 2015 Justice Department event to unveil the official portrait of Eric Holder, the former Attorney General.@BarackObama/Twitter

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Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, died on Thursday at her home in Detroit, aged 76. The former president, Barack Obama, and his wife Michelle, released the following statement celebrating her musical achievements, and her iconic role in American life:

The former president also posted this photographic tribute to Franklin on Twitter:

Memorably, Franklin performed “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” at President Obama’s first inauguration. Relive that performance below:

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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