Read Barack and Michelle Obama’s Statement on the Passing of Aretha Franklin

“America has no royalty. But we do have a chance to earn something more enduring.”

Former president Barack Obama celebrates with Aretha Franklin at a 2015 Justice Department event to unveil the official portrait of Eric Holder, the former Attorney General.@BarackObama/Twitter

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Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, died on Thursday at her home in Detroit, aged 76. The former president, Barack Obama, and his wife Michelle, released the following statement celebrating her musical achievements, and her iconic role in American life:

The former president also posted this photographic tribute to Franklin on Twitter:

Memorably, Franklin performed “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” at President Obama’s first inauguration. Relive that performance below:

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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