On Thursday morning, the entire world lost a legend.
As previously reported in detail, Aretha Franklin died at her home in Detroit – while under hospice care, surrounded by family members and loved ones – at the age of 76.
She passed away from pancreatic cancer.
And while the tributes and messages in the singer’s honor have come flooding in from all corners of the Internet and television, one in particular has sparked some unfortunate buzz.
It comes from the Fox News Channel.
In relaying to its viewers that Franklin, arguably the most influential and successful solo artist in music history had passed away, the cable network shared the image above.
It features a photo of Franklin; her name; the year she was born; the year she died; and another photo… of Patti LaBelle.
While honest mistakes happen all the time and while we’re certain this was nothing more than a mindless snafu, the image has caught the attention of social media users everythwere simply due to its source.
Meaning what, exactly?
Let’s just say that few are surprised that the President’s network of choice is the one who mixed up one African-American singer with another.
We’ll just leave our commentary at that.
Others, however, had a bit more to say about the Franklin-LaBelle mistake, in meme form and in exasperated Tweet form.
The incorrect visual appeared during America’s Newsroom, as hosts Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith discussed Franklin’s immense talent and musical legacy.
They said very nice things about her on air.]
Producers just were unable to tell one famous black woman from another.
President Trump, meanwhile, confusingly noted in remarks to the press that Aretha was a person who had “worked for me.”
Former President Barack Obama, who had Franklin sing at his 2009 inauguration, Tweeted the following:
Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade—our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect.
May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace.
And LaBelle, like so many other celebrities, also chimed in on this very sad passing:
Franklin was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and earned 18 Grammy Awards over her illustrious career.
She was a true icon.
Despite what Fox News accidentally tried to imply above, she was one of a kind.
May she rest in peace.
Said Aretha’s family upon confirming her passing:
In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family.
The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.
We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world.
Thank you for your compassion and prayers.
We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.