Aretha Franklin Makes History Even in Death

Aretha Franklin made history after she became the first individual woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize Special Citation honor on Monday.

The Pulitzer Prize is an award given to recipients who have achieved excellence in literature, musical composition and newspaper, magazine and online journalism. The Pulitzer Prize jury has the right to award special citations and honors where they see fit and has awarded 44 of these special awards since 1918.

“Aretha is blessed and highly favored even in death. She’s continued to receive multiple awards — she’s received almost every award imaginable and now to get the Pulitzer Prize, it’s just amazing,” said Sabrina Owens, Franklin’s niece and executor of her estate.

Some of Franklin’s most notable awards include her 18 Grammy wins, the National Medal of Arts, the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the nation’s highest civilian honor), and she was the first woman ever to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.