Aretha Franklin might no longer be with us but her legendary ways live on. The late singer was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize’s Special Citation, the prestigious journalism and the arts organization announced Monday.
Franklin was recognized “for her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades,” the Pulitzer Prize board added of the honour.
— The Pulitzer Prizes (@PulitzerPrizes) April 15, 2019
She becomes the 12th musician, and first female performer, to be given the citation – joining the likes of Bob Dylan, Scott Joplin and John Coltrane.
Franklin died of pancreatic cancer last August, aged 76.
During her career, the singer won 18 Grammys, had 17 top 10 US chart hits and became the first woman admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
An artist of immense versatility, her powerful voice, trained in the gospel tradition, moved on to embrace jazz, soul and rhythm and blues.
Rolling Stone magazine rated her as the greatest singer of all time, thanks to songs like Respect, Chain Of Fools and (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.
This year’s Pulitzer Prize for Music went to Ellen Reid’s opera p r i s m, with James Romig’s piano work Still and Andrew Norman’s orchestral piece Sustain named as finalists. In 2018, Kendrick Lamar was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his 2017 LP Damn.