×

Lawmakers Seek to Posthumously Award Congressional Gold Medal to Aretha Franklin

WASHINGTON — A group of lawmakers introduced legislation on Tuesday to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Aretha Franklin, who died last week.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) are among the co-sponsors of the legislation in the Senate, while Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) and Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) are co-sponsors in the House.

In a statement, Harris said Franklin “was simply a legend. Her work and impact will be felt for generations to come, and it’s long past time Congress honor her with the Congressional Gold Medal.”

She said, “from listening to ‘Mary Don’t You Weep,’ to standing in the living room dancing to ‘Rock Steady’ over and over again, to hearing from the Queen herself how lucky I was to be young, gifted, and black — Aretha’s songs were the soundtrack of my childhood.”

Hatch said Franklin “brought light, laughter, and love to all who would hear. I’m grateful to play a small role in honoring the life of this remarkable artist.”

Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, the two Democratic senators from Franklin’s home state, Michigan, also are co-sponsors.

The Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom are the highest civilian honors in the U.S. government. The last recipient was former senator Bob Dole, awarded on Sept. 15 last year.

The last entertainer to be honored was Frank Sinatra, who was awarded the medal on May 14, 1997. It has also been awarded to Aaron Copland, Harry Chapin, and George and Ira Gershwin.

More Politics

  • 60 Minutes" reporter Lara Logan takes

    Lara Logan Says She's Been 'Targeted' for Her Claims of Liberal Media Bias

    Former CBS News foreign correspondent Lara Logan appeared on “Hannity” Wednesday evening to expand on her recent remarks characterizing the media as “mostly liberal.” “It’s obvious, right, because you get targeted,” she said, explaining her earlier comments that she was committing “professional suicide” by criticizing the media. “It’s the same group of people, they’re already [...]

  • A Man Walks Into the Cnn

    CNN Seeks 'Both Sides' Balance but Spurs Criticism From All Sides (Analysis)

    In a time when news viewers are splintering around partisan leanings, CNN is proving to be a uniter, not a divider: people from both sides of the political aisle are eager to criticize its business decisions and news coverage. The one-time plain vanilla network can’t win for losing as it tries to achieve an elusive [...]

  • J.J. Abrams and Katie McGrathVanity Fair

    J.J. Abrams, Katie McGrath to Host Fundraiser for Kamala Harris

    UPDATED Kamala Harris, continuing to draw support from high-profile Hollywood donors, will headline a fundraiser in Los Angeles next month at the Pacific Palisades home of J.J. Abrams and his wife, producer Katie McGrath. The March 20 event, an evening reception, is priced at $2,800 per person, with those who write and raise $10,000 listed [...]

  • Roger Stone, longtime advisor to President

    Judge Orders New Hearing With Roger Stone After Instagram Post

    WASHINGTON — U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has ordered a hearing for Thursday to consider whether to modify her limited gag order on Roger Stone, or to even revoke the the conditions of his release, in light of his Instagram post in that featured a photo of her with the symbol of a rifle [...]

  • Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), speaks during

    Bernie Sanders Announces 2020 Presidential Run

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced he would again run for president, promising in an interview Tuesday on “CBS This Morning” that that “we’re gonna win.” Sanders aggressively challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016, and his focus on economic populism has helped shift the party leftward, as is evident as the field of [...]

  • Donald Trump

    Trump Rails Against 'SNL,' Again, And Suggests 'Retribution' for NBC

    WASHINGTON — President Trump once again took aim at “Saturday Night Live,” suggesting that there should be a price to pay by TV networks for delivering such scathing satire. “Nothing funny about tired Saturday Night Live on Fake News NBC! Question is, how do the Networks get away with these total Republican hit jobs without [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content