Aretha Franklin has been posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize Special Citation honour, becoming the first solo female performer to receive the accolade since its conception in 1930.
For “her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades”, The Queen of Soul becomes the 12th musical recipient of the citation – joining the likes of Bob Dylan, and John Coltrane.
— The Pulitzer Prizes (@PulitzerPrizes) April 15, 2019
The award comes almost a year after Franklin passed away. The 76-year-old singer lost her battle with pancreatic cancer back in August 2018.
Franklin was regarded for her versatile musical ability and powerfully distinctive vocals, born from her background in a gospel choir.
Her 50-year recording career saw her pen 20 top 10 albums, dozens of singles which sold millions and 18 Grammy awards.
This year’s Pulitzer Prize in Music award went to 36-year-old Tennesee composer Ellen Reid.
Reid won with her opera p r i s m, which tackled themes of sexual assault and survival.
Pulitzer judges described Reid’s work as a “bold new operatic work that uses sophisticated vocal writing and striking instrumental timbres to confront difficult subject matter: the effects of sexual and emotional abuse.”