Pope Francis watches Aretha Franklin perform during the Festival of Families on September 26, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Pope Francis is wrapping up his trip to the United States with two days in Philadelphia where he will attend the Festival of Families and will meet with prisoners at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility.
Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images
Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin first woman to receive special Pulitzer award

The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, has become the first woman honored with a Pulitzer special award and citation.

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Franklin, who died last year of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76, was honored for “her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades,” according to a press release from Pulitzer.org.

Since 1930, when the award was first handed out, Franklin is the first woman to receive the special recognition, which has honored 41 people and institutions.

She joins the ranks of legendary musicians like Duke Ellington and Bob Dylan who have also received the citation.  

Franklin was the first woman indicted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and had more than 70 singles on the Billboard Top 100, CNN reported.

“The Pulitzer Prizes, and these special award citations, stand for work of breadth, excellence and consequence in making our society a better place to be,” Neil Brown, Poynter’s president and a Pulitzer Prize board member, said, according to The Hill

>> Related: Detroit gives Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin a little ‘Respect,’ naming street in her honor

“Aretha Franklin’s contributions remain deep, inspiring and altogether fitting of such recognition,” Brown said.

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