Aretha Franklin, also known as the Queen of Soul, is getting what is sure to be a star-studded tribute on Nov. 14 at New York's Madison Square Garden. According to the Washington Post, music mogul Clive Davis, who worked with Franklin for decades, is the concert's chief organizer. On Aug. 16, Franklin died of pancreatic cancer in Detroit at the age of 76.
Davis, who is chief creative officer at Sony Music, issued this statement: "I’m absolutely devastated by Aretha’s passing. She was truly one of a kind. She was more than the Queen of Soul. She was a national treasure to be cherished by every generation throughout the world. Apart from our long professional relationship, Aretha was my friend. Her loss is deeply profound and my heart is full of sadness."
Although the tribute concert lineup hasn't been announced yet, Sony Music artists Beyoncé, Adele, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend and Alicia Keys are likely to participate, as are Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Jay-Z and Whoopi Goldberg. Wonder was one of Franklin's close friends who spent time with her shortly before she died. Goldberg starred in the 1986 comedy film "Jumpin' Jack Flash," for which Franklin and Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards recorded a remake of the Rolling Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash." Beyoncé, Jay-Z and opening act DJ Khaled took a moment out of their Aug. 13 concert in Detroit to pay their respects to Franklin, whose critical health condition had been reported days before her death.
Meanwhile, several celebrities have been issuing statements in tribute to Franklin. Here are some of the statements:
Smokey Robinson: "This morning my longest friend in this world went home to be with our father. I will miss her so much but I know she’s at peace."
Quincy Jones: "From the time that Dinah Washington first told me that Aretha was the ‘next one’ when she was 12-years old until the present day, Aretha Franklin set the bar upon which every female singer has and will be measured. And she did it with the professionalism, class, grace and humility that only a true Queen could. I treasured every moment that we spent together from working in the recording studio to performing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, or simply hanging in the kitchen, and I will miss her dearly. RIP Ree-Ree. You will reign as the Queen forever."
Barbra Streisand: "It’s difficult to conceive of a world without her. Not only was she a uniquely brilliant singer, but her commitment to civil rights made an indelible impact on the world."
Mariah Carey: "Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul. The Icon. The ultimate singers’ singer. The greatest singer and musician of my lifetime. The power of your voice in music and in civil rights blew open the door for me and so many others. You were my inspiration, my mentor and my friend."
Elton John: "The loss of Aretha Franklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church. Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated — she was one of my favorite pianists."
Paul McCartney: "Let’s all take a moment to give thanks for the beautiful life of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of our souls, who inspired us all for many, many years. She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever."
Adele: "I can’t remember a day of my life without Aretha Franklin’s voice and music filling up my heart with so much joy and sadness. Absolutely heartbroken she’s gone, what a woman. Thank you for everything, the melodies and the movements.”
John Legend: "Salute to the Queen. The greatest vocalist I’ve ever known."
Keith Richards: "It’s a sad day but what a glorious lady. Her voice says it all!"
Whoopi Goldberg: "She is now in the pantheon of God’s greats, in the bosom of the family."
Patti LaBelle: "Today the world has experienced a tremendous loss. Aretha was a rare treasure whose unmatched musical genius helped craft the soundtrack to the lives of so many."
Lionel Richie: "Her voice; her presence; her style. No one did it better. Truly the Queen of Soul. I will miss you!"
Christina Aguilera: "Aretha was such a timeless inspiration to me and so many others, the ultimate queen, thank you for the gift of your voice, music and unshakeable soul."
Hugh Jackman: "One of the highlights of my career was singing with #ArethaFranklin at The Tony Awards. It was an out of body experience for me. One of the greatest singers of all time. You will be missed by all."
Donald Trump: "The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, is dead. She was a great woman, with a wonderful gift from God, her voice. She will be missed!"
Barack Obama and Michelle Obama: "Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade_our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. She helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human. And sometimes she helped us just forget about everything else and dance."
Bill Clinton: "For more than 50 years, she stirred our souls. She was elegant, graceful, and utterly uncompromising in her artistry. Aretha’s first music school was the church and her performances were powered by what she learned there. I’ll always be grateful for her kindness and support, including her performances at both my inaugural celebrations and for the chance to be there for what sadly turned out to be her final performance last November at a benefit supporting the fight against HIV/AIDS. She will forever be the Queen of Soul and so much more to all who knew her personally and through her music. Our hearts go out to her family and her countless fans."
Motown founder Berry Gordy: "A national treasure to everyone. But to me personally, Aretha Franklin was my dear, dear friend, my homegirl, and I loved her a lot. From seeing her as a baby singing and playing at the piano at her father’s home, to her giving a rousing performance at the White House, she has always been amazing. No matter how the music has changed over the years, she remained so relevant."