The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin continues to make history after she recently became the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize Special Citation since 1930.
The late singer received the honor on Monday for “her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades,” according to a statement from the Pulitzer board.
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The prize comes eight months after the iconic singer died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 76.
“Aretha is blessed and highly favored even in death. She’s continued to receive multiple awards — she’s received almost every award imaginable and now to get the Pulitzer Prize, it’s just amazing,” Sabrina Owens, Franklin’s niece and the executor of her estate, said in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday. “Aretha continues to bless us with her music and just paving the way for women going forward. It’s thrilling. She would be so happy right now.”
Franklin’s history-making Pulitzer Prize adds to her many firsts–including being the first woman admitted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the first woman to have 73 songs make the Billboard Top 100.
Past recipients of the citation include Duke Ellington, Bob Dylan, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, George Gershwin, Ray Bradbury, William Schuman, Milton Babbitt, Scott Joplin, Roger Sessions, Richard Rodgers, and Oscar Hammerstein II.
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