President Donald Trump recognized the death of “The Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin on Thursday.
“The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, is dead,” he wrote on Twitter. “She was a great woman, with a wonderful gift from God, her voice. She will be missed!”
Trump also recognized Franklin in his cabinet meeting on Thursday offering his “warmest best wishes and sympathies” to the family.
“She brought joy to millions of lives and her extraordinary legacy will thrive and inspire many generations to come,” Trump said to reporters. “People loved Aretha. She was a special woman. So just want to pass on my warmest best wishes and sympathies to her family.”
He said that he knew Franklin well.
“She worked for me on numerous occasions. She was terrific,” Trump said.
Franklin performed during the opening of Trump International Hotel and Towers in Central Park in 1997 in New York City and was photographed with the future president. She was also spotted at a Grammys party in 1992 with Trump.
Franklin’s family confirmed that the legendary soul singer died on Thursday at the age of 76.
“We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world,” the family noted in a statement. “Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.”
Trump’s daughter Ivanka also reacted to the news with a statement on Twitter.
Aretha Franklin was an artistic genius and trailblazer whose gift to the world transcends time.
Long live the Queen of Soul as we pass her music on from generation to generation.
May she Rest In Peace.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) August 16, 2018
In 2012, Trump described Franklin as his “legendary friend” while wishing her a happy birthday.
The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, is dead. She was a great woman, with a wonderful gift from God, her voice. She will be missed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2018
Happy Birthday to my legendary friend Aretha Franklin.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2012