A group of lawmakers introduced legislation on Tuesday to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Aretha Franklin, who died last week. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) are among the co-sponsors of the legislation in the Senate, while Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) and Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) are co-sponsors in the House.
In a statement, Harris said Franklin “was simply a legend. Her work and impact will be felt for generations to come, and it’s long past time Congress honor her with the Congressional Gold Medal.”
The last entertainer to be honored was Frank Sinatra, who was awarded the medal on May 14, 1997. It has also been awarded to Aaron Copland, Harry Chapin, and George and Ira Gershwin.