Aretha Franklin has been awarded a posthumous Pulitzer Prize, honouring her “indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades”. Franklin died last year aged 76 from pancreatic cancer. She is now the 12th musician, but first female, to have been awarded the prize, after musicians such as Bob Dylan, Scott Joplin and John Coltrane.
During her career, Franklin won 18 Grammys, had 17 top 10 US chart hits and was the first woman admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone Magazine rated her as the greatest singer of all time, with huge hits such as ‘Respect’ and ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’.
This year, the Pulitzer Prize for music went to Ellen Reid’s opera, p r i s m. The Pulitzer jury described the work as a “bold new operatic work that uses sophisticated vocal writing and striking instrumental timbres to conforton difficult subject matter: The effects of sexual and emotional abuse”.
Click on the link below to watch one of the last performances Franklin ever gave, at the Kennedy Center: