Graceful messages about the Queen of Soul's impact on music, civil rights and her legacy as one of the world's most talented voices emerged after reports confirmed that the 76-year-old passed away from pancreatic cancer on August 16.
Unfortunately, Donald Trump's attempt at memorializing the icon was not well received.
Trump attempted to honor the beloved singer and pianist during a cabinet meeting where he referred to her as someone who "worked for me."
“I want to begin today by expressing my condolences to the family of a person I knew well. She worked for me on numerous occasions. She was terrific—Aretha Franklin—on her passing," he said.
Not stopping there, Trump took to Twitter with a follow up message about Areatha Franklin's death.
"The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, is dead. She was a great woman, with a wonderful gift from God, her voice. She will be missed!"
The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, is dead. She was a great woman, with a wonderful gift from God, her voice. She will be missed!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2018
Trump's implication that Aretha Franklin worked for him, paired with the fact that he started his tweet off by saying the legend "is dead," didn't sit too well with fans that were in the process of grieving.
I hate the world we live in because one of the first thoughts I had was “I do not want to hear Donald Trump say one word about Aretha Franklin”— nuanced opinion guy (@charles_kinbote) August 16, 2018
donald trump showing condolences to aretha franklin like she wouldn’t slap the shit out him lmao— day tripper ✞ (@NoahhGault) August 16, 2018
Dear @realDonaldTrump: When a queen passes away, you pay your R-E-S-P-E-C-T! You don’t try to denigrate her legacy by saying, “she worked for me on numerous occasions." This queen worked for nobody but her loving fans. #ArethaFranklin #BossLady #QueenOfSoul #RestInPower #TeamDl— DL Hughley (@RealDLHughley) August 16, 2018
You better THINK about keeping the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, out of your mouth, @realDonaldTrump.— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) August 16, 2018
Ain't No Way she had even a drop of R-E-S-P-E-C-T for your racist ass.
It Won't Be Long before you and your Chain of Fools are gone, because A Change is Gonna Come.✊🏼 https://t.co/ePR40HKaWt
Donald Trump has no idea how to feign human emotion nor has he ever experienced sympathy for another person.— Chris Jackson (@ChrisCJackson) August 16, 2018
Him saying Aretha Franklin “worked for him” conveys how his failing brain works. No matter what happens or who dies, the only thing that matters is how it affects TRUMP.
No one could truly have listened to Aretha Franklin's music, felt where it came from, and turned out to be Donald Trump. The Queen of Soul vs the Bellend Without A Soul.— Sathnam Sanghera (@Sathnam) August 16, 2018
Donald Trump,— Robert People (@PeoplesCourt79) August 16, 2018
You seriously began a tribute to the GREAT and LEGENDARY Aretha Franklin by talking about her “working for you.” Only an insecure, poor excuse of a man would take someone on her level and try to take the spotlight for himself. You are sorry, @realDonaldTrump.
Today Donald Trump said Aretha Franklin "worked" for him. She may have performed at one of your hotels or casinos, Mr. Trump, but do not be confused; The Queen of Soul NEVER EVER WORKED for you. But you, Mr. Trump, you work for us and, sooner or later, you will be fired.— Sharon Gelman - Resist! (@sharongelman) August 16, 2018
While details on how Aretha Franklin "worked" for Donald Trump have yet to be revealed, some commenters used former President Barack Obama's social media tribute as a reference for the way the leader of the United States should pay homage to someone who has contributed so much to American culture.
Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade—our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace. pic.twitter.com/bfASqKlLc5— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 16, 2018
(Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
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