The AU

Its Permanent Representative

and the African Diaspora

FILE- In this April 19, 2017 file photo, Aretha Franklin performs at the world premiere of "Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives" at Radio City Music Hall, during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

The African Union Permeant Representative to the United States of America, Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quoa, has expressed profound sadness at the death of global music icon Aretha Franklin, who passed away today at her home in Detroit, USA.

Ms. Franklin had batted Pancreatic Cancer for a long time and was visited by dozens of luminaries in the last few days of her life. She was surrounded by family and close friends at the time of her death.

On behalf of the fifty-five African Heads of State, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat and Aretha Franklin’s 1.2 billion brothers and sisters on the African continent and the Diaspora, I offer my profound condolences to her family. To quote the late Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah who said: You are not African because you were born in Africa, but rather you are African because Africa is born in you, Aretha Franklin was a true child of Africa who had Africa truly born in her. We will miss her dearly,” said Ambassador Chihombori-Quao.

The Au Ambassador said that Aretha Franklin’s inner strength was felt by many adding: As a black woman, I speak on behalf of my fellow sisters. We have lost a sister, a mother, a grandmother, a champion for women and a role model. We will always remember the Queen of Soul, who gave us the soundtracks of our lives that serenaded us through this journey of life.

Aretha Franklin was born March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee. She sold more than 75 million records during her life making her one of the best-selling artists of all time. Her father, the Reverend C.L. Franklin, was a famous preacher and friend of the late Martin Luther King. His political activism inspired Aretha who played a role in the civil rights movement. Her activism extended to Africa through her strong support for the fight against Apartheid in South Africa.

May her soul rest in peace.