ESSENCE Music Festival headliner Aretha Franklin earned an honorary degree from Princeton University yesterday. The legendary diva was given a doctorate of music from the Ivy League institution in honor of her illustrious career.

According to, the school’s trustee Stephen Oxman said, “With her singular ‘Amazing Grace,’ she continues to traverse musical bridges over trouble water, and by remedying us to think, do right and call on her, the Queen of Soul will forever command the world’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T.”

Even though the singer didn’t attend college, in 2006 and 2010 Franklin received honorary doctorate degrees of music from Berklee College of Music and Yale University in 2006 and 2010 respectively, reports the Daily Mail.

On August 14 in Hendersonville, Tennessee, the icon will be inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame alongside Ricky Skaggs, The Hoppers, Dallas Holm, Rex Humbard and Christian rock band Love Song.

Click here to purchase your tickets for the 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival in New Orleans July 6-8.


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