Barack and Michelle Obama say singer ‘helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human’

When the death of Aretha Franklin was announced on Thursday morning, one US president paid tribute to a voice that offered “a glimpse of the divine”, in which Americans could feel “our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect”.

Related: Aretha Franklin: her greatest songs, from the church to the dancefloor

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Read More Obama hails ‘divine’ Aretha Franklin and Trump lauds ‘a person I knew well’

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