The Queen of Soul is getting some R-E-S-P-E-C-T with a history-making Pulitzer honour.
On Monday, the Pulitzer board announced the late Aretha Franklin is being honoured with the Pulitzer Prize Special Citation for her extraordinary five decade-spanning career contributions to American music and culture. Franklin is the first solo woman to win the special citation prize for music since the honour was created in 1918.
The Special Citation is not given out annually. Instead, the Pulitzer Prize jury gives out the honour when they deem necessary, handing out 44 total special citations in the fields of journalism, arts letters and service. Previous music winners include Bob Dylan, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and Scott Joplin, among others. The Pulitzer board most recently awarded the special citation in 2010 to country singer Hank Williams, who died at age 29 in 1953.
Amassing a string of hits over the years including “Respect”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Think”, “Chain Of Fools” and “I Say A Little Prayer”, Franklin died from pancreatic cancer on August 16, 2018 at her home in Detroit at age 76.