Barack and Michelle Obama Pen Moving Tribute to Aretha Franklin As Trump Bizarrely Claims She 'Worked' for Him

"May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace."

Barack and Michelle Obama on Thursday released a moving statement about the death of Aretha Franklin, the “Queen of Soul” who performed at the former president’s first inauguration, and brought him to tears during the 2015 Kennedy Center honors.

“America has no royalty,” the Obamas wrote. “But we do have a chance to earn something more enduring.”

Noting Franklin was born and raised in Detroit as the daughter of a Baptist minister and civil rights leader, the Obamas wrote that in the six decades she performed, “every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine.”

“Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, Aretha hoped define the American experience,” the wrote. “In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it an in every shade—our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect.”

“Aretha may have passed on to a better place, but the gift of her music remains to inspire us all. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace.

Meanwhile, according to a pool report from Thursday’s Cabinet meeting, Donald Trump praised Franklin before claiming she “worked for” him.

The president had previously taken to Twitter to acknowledge the death of Franklin, whom he described as a "great woman."

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Elizabeth Preza is the Managing Editor of AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @lizacisms.