Menendez, Booker Celebrate Senate Passage of Bipartisan Resolution Honoring Aretha Franklin

Menendez, Booker Celebrate Senate Passage of Bipartisan Resolution Honoring Aretha Franklin

 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bon Menendez and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) celebrated the Senate passage of a resolution honoring the life and legacy of singer Aretha Franklin. Franklin moved to Detroit as a young girl and began her singing career at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit. Menendez and Booker were joined by a bipartisan group of 36 cosponsors.

“Aretha Franklin, the undisputed Queen of Soul will always be an inspiration,” said Senator Menendez. “Her legacy will live on in the artists she inspired, her timeless hits we all have in our head, and the people of every race, creed and gender that she uplifted with her determined words.”

“Her strong, sturdy voice was a bridge for me over troubled water; her familiar, old school gospel was a reminder to me that weeping may endure through the night but joy comes in the morning; and her commanding vocals were a tireless testimony to His amazing grace,” said Senator Booker. “Aretha Franklin is free now. Free from struggles, free from strife, she left us - but her songs of freedom never will. God bless The Queen. Rest in power.”

The bipartisan cosponsors includes Senators Gary Peters (D-Mich.) Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-Nev.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

Text of the Resolution follows:

Title: Honoring the life and legacy of Aretha Franklin and the contributions of Aretha Franklin to music, civil rights, and the city of Detroit.

Whereas Aretha Franklin was born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee;

Whereas Aretha Franklin moved to Detroit, Michigan, in 1946, at the age of 4;

Whereas Aretha Franklin began a career singing gospel at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan;

Whereas Aretha Franklin traveled with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., across the country as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., preached nonviolence in the movement for civil rights;

Whereas Aretha Franklin was an active supporter of the civil rights movement and her song “Respect” became an anthem for the civil rights movement and the women’s movement;

Whereas Aretha Franklin is most known for her powerful songs such as “Respect”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Spanish Harlem”, and “Think”;

Whereas Aretha Franklin was known as the “Queen of Soul” and on January 3, 1987, became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame;

Whereas Aretha Franklin has won 18 Grammy Awards and sold over 75,000,000 records worldwide;

Whereas Aretha Franklin was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in 2001, the United Kingdom’s Music Hall of Fame in 2005, and the Gospel Music Association’s Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012;

Whereas in June 2017 the city of Detroit honored Aretha Franklin with a key to the city and renamed a segment of Madison Avenue in downtown Detroit “Aretha Franklin Way”;

Whereas Aretha Franklin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on November 9, 2005;

Whereas Aretha Franklin received honorary degrees for her contributions to the arts from Harvard University, Princeton University, Yale University, Brown University, Berklee College of Music, the New England Conservatory of Music, University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and Bethune-Cookman College;

Whereas Aretha Franklin inspired a generation of artists and enthralled the world with powerful music; and

Whereas Aretha Franklin passed away on August 16, 2018, at the age of 76 at her home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate celebrates the life and legacy of Aretha Franklin and the iconic contributions of Aretha Franklin to music, arts, and civil rights.

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