Pulitzer Awards Posthumous Special Citation Prize To Aretha Franklin

Written by on April 17, 2019

Fourth Estate Staff

Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E) – Aretha Franklin was awarded a posthumous Pulitzer Prize Special Citation honor on Monday, making history as the first individual woman to earn a special citation prize since the honor was first given in 1930.

The award-giving body granted the prestigious prize to The Queen of Soul for her “indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades,” CNN reported.

Past recipients of the special citation prize includes Bob Dylan, Richard Rodgers, Duke Ellington, Scott Joplin, Oscar Hammerstein, to name a few.

Before Monday, the Pulitzer board has only given 41 special citation prizes since 1930 and recipients thereof ranged from organizations and groups to individual people. This year, Franklin and the Capital Gazette were given special citation honors.

In an interview with the Associated Press on Monday, Sabrina Owens, Franklin’s niece and executor of her estate, said “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.”

She added that her aunt was “very gifted and talented” and that the world still continues to recognize that.

Franklin died on August 16 last year due to pancreatic cancer. She was 76 at the time.

During her life, Franklin enjoyed a hugely successful career that spanned more than half a century. She is also the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She has a record of 73 songs that made it to the Billboard Top 100.

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