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Lawmakers Float Bill to Honor Aretha Franklin with Congressional Gold Medal

A bipartisan group of Capitol Hill lawmakers is introducing legislation to honor Aretha Franklin posthumously with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest commendation from Congress.

The bill introduced this week has the support of Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California and Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, as well as Sens. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) and Doug Collins (R-Ga.).

Franklin, known as the “Queen of Soul,” died Aug. 16 at age 76. She did not leave a will for her estate, reportedly valued at $80 million.

According to the bill, Franklin “instilled hope, uplifted generations, and changed the lives of millions.”

Harris called Franklin’s songs “the soundtrack of my childhood,” while Hatch said she “touched the hearts of millions, lifting all of us with songs of hope and humanity.”

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