Aretha Franklin Receives Honorary Degree

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On May 24, legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin received an honorary doctorate of music degree from Yale University, according to a press release.

During a speech, Yale President Richard C. Levin celebrated the award-winning singer’s accomplishments.

"We know royalty when we see it, and you are, without question, the Queen of Soul. A natural woman, you have been signing your whole life, learning the grace of gospel from family and faith community, tuning it with your own sometimes painful, often joyful, experiences, and creating a signature style that transcends any one musical genre," said Levin. "You have sung the nation's hopes at presidential inaugurations and shared your gifts with generations of music lovers. From gospel to pop, from blues to hip-hop, your voice expresses our feelings.”

The honorary degree adds to a growing list of honors Franklin has received during her storied career, including honorary doctorates from Berklee College of Music, the University of Pennsylvania, New England Conservatory of Music, Bethune-Cookman University, Wayne State University and the University of Detroit Mercy.

On June 14, the Queen of Soul prepares to be inducted into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame in addition to the posthumous induction of legendary singer Michael Jackson at the Apollo Theater.