‘She loved Cleveland’: ‘Dr.’ Aretha Franklin had deep roots in NE Ohio

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, 76, passed away Thursday after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

While she lived in Detroit, Franklin, who was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, had strong ties to the Cleveland area.

"She loved Cleveland," said Rock Hall VP of Education and Visitor Engagement Jason Hanley.

The Rock Hall released the following statement regarding her death:

“Lady Soul. The first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Aretha Franklin was an artist of passion, sophistication and command, whose recordings remain anthems that defined soul music. Long live the Queen."

Franklin is represented in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with several items including the following:

• Dress worn by Aretha Franklin
• 6/28/68 issue of Time magazine - Aretha Franklin on cover
• 7" record: "Respect"/"Dr. Feelgood"
• Poster for concert at Howard High School, Chattanooga, TN feat. Rev. C.L. Franklin, Aretha Franklin, Staple Singers and Miss Sammie Bryant
• Poster for Aretha Franklin at the Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, B.C., 11/2/68
• Album sleeve for Aretha Franklin Aretha: Lady Soul

Franklin's ties to Cleveland don't end with the Rock Hall.

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 5: (L-R) Aretha Franklin (C) is presented with an honorary doctorate by the faculty of Case Western Reserve University during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 16th American Music Masters Tribute at PlayhouseSquare's State Theatre on November 5, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images for Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame)

Franklin was awarded an honorary doctorate from Case Western Reserve University in 2011 at Playhouse Square, when the Rock Hall honored her as part of the 16th American Music Masters Tribute.

She was chosen because of her excellence in the performing arts and valuable work during the civil rights movement, according to Case Western's website.

Franklin was nominated by Mary E. Davis, then-chair of the university's department of music. She cited Franklin as a voice in American social, political and cultural history.

*Read more on her honorary doctorate here*

The photo gallery below includes several photos taken of Franklin and several performers during that  16th American Music Masters Tribute in Cleveland.

“Her songs are the soundtrack to an era of change and empowerment, documenting and resonating with the civil rights movement,” Davis said at the time.

Continuing coverage.