Aretha Franklin has been awarded a special posthumous Pulitzer Prize Special Citation today in honour of her “indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades,” as reported by Rolling Stone.
This kind of honour, which is given for unique circumstances outside of the usual Pulitzer guidelines, is rarely awarded by the Pulitzer Prize Board. Since 1930, less than a dozen musicians have received a Special Citation and Franklin is the first female artist to be included.
Previous recipients include Rodgers & Hammerstein, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Bob Dylan and, most recently in 2010, Hank Williams.
Aretha Franklin died of pancreatic cancer less than a year ago, aged 76. Her passing was mourned worldwide, with thousands turning out for her funeral in Detroit. Her phenomenal career spanned more than half a century, she had 73 singles crack the Billboard Top 100 and was also the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
All hail the Queen Of Soul!
Celebrate the life work of an artist whose finest recordings define the term soul music in all its deepest glory with our I Like: Aretha Franklin playlist on Spotify:
Go deep with all the Aretha Franklin Essentials on Apple Music: