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Aretha Franklin came to Washington to sing - and for history

Last Updated Aug 19, 2018 at 11:00 am EDT

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2005 file photo, President George W. Bush awards singer Aretha Franklin the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award, the highest civilian award, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Franklin died Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, at her home in Detroit. She was 76. Throughout Franklin's career, "The Queen of Soul" often returned to Washington - the nation's capital - for performances that at times put her in line with key moments of U.S. History. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson, File)

Throughout her career, Aretha Franklin often returned to the nation’s capital for performances that at times put her in line with key moments of U.S. History.

The “Queen of Soul” sang for diplomats, welcomed emperors and brought one president — Barack Obama — to tears. Franklin also accepted many honours and performed for charities and civil rights groups in Washington.

Franklin surrounded herself with the politics of the day and would for the rest of her career referenced her experiences during historic moments in speeches, interviews and her 1999 autobiography, “Aretha: From These Roots.”

Franklin performed for Democratic Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Republican President George Bush, a Republican, awarded Franklin in 2005 the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award.

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