Artist News Awards

Aretha Franklin receives posthumous Pulitzer Prize

By | Published on Tuesday 16 April 2019

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin has been posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize, acknowledging “her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades”.

Various Pulitzers are handed out each year for achievements in journalism and the arts. Franklin was included in the ‘special citation’ category, making her the first woman ever to receive this prize as an individual since it was introduced in 1930 (the prize has sometimes gone to whole newspaper teams). Previous musical winners include Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk.

Franklin died last August from pancreatic cancer, aged 76. Tributes at the time came in from across the worlds of music, entertainment, politics and beyond.

The Pulitzer Prize for music this year was given to composer and sound artist Ellen Reid for her piece ‘Prism’. Organisers called it “a bold new operatic work that uses sophisticated vocal writing and striking instrumental timbres to confront difficult subject matter: the effects of sexual and emotional abuse”.