Aretha Franklin Makes History As The First Individual Woman to Receive “Special Citation” Pulitzer Prize for Music

On Monday, The “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin was announced as a winner at the 2019 Pulitzer Prizes for Arts, Drama, and Music, honoring her posthumously for her lifetime of achievement.

Franklin, who died of Pancreatic Cancer last year at the age of 76, has been awarded with a “Special Citation,” for “her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades.”

According to Billboard, “Franklin is the first individual woman to receive the prize since the honor was first awarded in 1930.” Franklin was also the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. 

The legendary singer has been recognized with awards such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and Kennedy Center Honors, adding Pulitzer to the list.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

The Pulitzer Prize administration honors excellence in journalism and the arts each year and took to Twitter to share the announcement.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

“Congratulations to @ArethaFranklin and her family and friends. #Pulitzer #QueenOfSoul #Respect.”

Aretha Franklin Gets Pultizer
(MOLLY RILEY/Getty Images)

About Retonjah Burdette

Retonjah Burdette is a publicist and published content curator from Atlanta, Georgia. After receiving her Bachelor’s in Public Relations from Georgia Southern University in 2017, Burdette then went on to get field experience with one of the top entertainment PR firms in Atlanta. Since the start of her career, Burdette has worked with a number of actors, authors, entrepreneurs and independent artists. She has secured placements on media outlets such as TV One’s Sister Circle, Good Day Atlanta on FOX, V-103, CBS 46, Kontrol Magazine, KISS 104.1 and Rolling Out to name a few. In addition to her growth in PR, she is currently a writer for Baller Alert, a top platform for news and entertainment. In hopes of bringing the visions of others to life, she launched Girl Avant-Garde in 2019, a creative agency specializing in innovative content, branding and PR in entertainment. Her overall goal is to have autonomy over her creative thought process and to teach branding to new entrepreneurs and others pursuing a career in the public eye.

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