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Statements regarding Aretha Franklin


Statement from Craig Kallman, Chairman & CEO, Atlantic Records and Julie Greenwald, Chairman & COO, Atlantic Records:

“Aretha Franklin was a pillar of Atlantic Records and transformed global culture. From that day in January 1967, when producer Jerry Wexler took Aretha to Muscle Shoals, Alabama and she sat down at the piano to record her first Atlantic record, ’I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You),’ music was never the same. Back then, there was no one who sang the way she did, who took the roots of gospel and R&B and infused them with that originality, power, fervor, and depth. Aretha was always in charge – of the songs she sang and the songs she wrote; how she sang them and how she played them. In her dozen years with Atlantic, she created a phenomenal body of work that entered the timeless musical canon and has had an unequaled impact on artists across the globe.

“Aretha’s prodigious talent came from a place of honesty, integrity, and strength, and her boundary-breaking approach extended far beyond her music. She was a tireless champion of civil rights and social justice, and above all, a global citizen who strived her entire life to erase boundaries of race, culture, gender, and nationality. All of us in the Atlantic family are deeply proud to be a part of her extraordinary legacy. Our thoughts and prayers are with her friends and family at this very difficult time.”

Statement from Max Lousada, CEO, Recorded Music, Warner Music Group:

“There are great artists and there are transcendent artists – artists who break new barriers and take us to places we never imagined. Aretha elevated soul from genre to high art. She defied musical categorization, bringing her phenomenal talent to R&B, pop, blues, gospel, rock, jazz, and classical music. Aretha’s influence on music, culture, and history is incalculable. We will be forever grateful for everything that she accomplished as an artist, a woman, and a beacon of humanity.”

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