Aretha Franklin Wins Pulitzer Prize, Posthumously

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Aretha Franklin continues to earn respect. The legend has won a 2019 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation for music and culture. The April 15 announcement honoring all of the organizations 2019 prize winners in journalism, letters, drama and music, noted the Queen of Soul’s “indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades.” The posthumous award comes eight months after Franklin died of complications from a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor in her hometown of Detroit, Mich., on August 16, 2018.

Franklin’s Facebook page acknowledged the honor as well as the select company she is in:

“She is the first woman to receive a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation. Aretha is still opening doors for women in her death. Since 1944 (75 years to date), only 13 people have received the Pulitzer Prize Special Citation (so this is not presented annually).

The post noted the previous recipients of the Special Citation, including Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, John Coltrane, Ray Bradbury, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Scott Joplin, Richard Rodgers, and Oscar Hammerstein II.

Franklin is the subject of a newly released documentary, Amazing Grace, that features the singer performing with a choir at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles, over two nights in January 1972. The film was directed by Sydney Pollack, but never completed.

Watch the trailer for Amazing Grace

Related: Tributes poured in following Franklin’s 2018 death

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