Legendary singer-songwriter Aretha Franklin received an honorary doctorate degree from Princeton University, making her just one of a half-dozen people to be so honored.
Franklin traded her usual “sassy but classy” attire for the all-black traditional graduation gown and cap as an honorary graduation stole was placed on her shoulders. Stephen Oxman, university orator and trustee, offered a long and passionate tribute to Franklin during which he praised her for her “impeccably bold and fearless” performance style that took listeners on a “journey to the depths of her soul.”
The 70-year-old artist from Detroit smiled broadly Oxman’s speech. She never attended college, but now has three honorary degrees from prestigious colleges. In 2006, she received an honorary degree from the Berklee College of Music in Boston and in 2010 she earned another honorary degree from Yale.
In addition to three degrees, the iconic soul singer has earned 18 Grammy Awards and countless other of other honors and distinctions.