Singer Aretha Franklin receives National Arts Medal

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

On September 29, 1999 President William Jefferson Clinton honored singer Aretha Franklin for her great talent. Aretha Franklin was born to Reverend C.L. Franklin and Barbara Siggers Franklin in Memphis, Tennessee. In his speech, President Clinton said, “No matter where she has traveled, she has never left behind the sound of those Sundays in church. You could hear it ranging over four full octaves when she sang Dr. King to Heaven, and in electrifying performances at our inaugural celebrations.” After his speech Clinton awarded the Queen of Soul with the National Arts Medal.