The celebrated musician, civil rights activist and pianist passed away last year in August at the age of 76 in her Detroit home after battling with pancreatic cancer.

Her legend however, continues to inspire and make history beyond the grave. The 18-time Grammy award winner and 44-time Grammy nominee, was announced as the first individual woman to win the prestigious posthumous Pulitzer award.

The Queen of Soul was announced as the recipient of the award on Monday, at an announcement ceremony at Columbia University by the Pulitzer board, in the category "special citations" for her "contribution to American music and culture over five decades".

Prestigious indeed.

READ MORE: Celebrating 77 years of the late Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin with a documentary screening of Amazing Grace

The Pulitzer Prize awards were first established by Joseph Pulitzer in the early 1900s to celebrate literary and musical achievements. 

While many celebrated icons such as U.S. singer Hank Williams and news publication, New York Times among 41 others, have also been awarded the special citation prize, Aretha is the first individual woman to have achieved this feat.

And this is only one of her many achievements.

READ MORE: WATCH: 'Exquisite' Aretha Franklin dresses and accessories set for auction

Besides being awarded America's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George Bush in 2005, Aretha was also the first woman to be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in January 1987.

She was also the recipient of the Grammy Lifetime achievement, Legend Award and MusiCares person of the year award among many others.

Aretha first started singing in her church choir at which her dad was a minister from a very young age. When she turned 18 she was signed to Columbia Records where her career didn't exactly take off.

According to Wikipedia, she later joined Atlantic Records and produced a number of hit songs including Respect, You make me feel like a natural woman and I say a little prayer.

READ MORE: Aretha Franklin loved big furs, feathers and performing in wedding dresses, here are her most memorable fashion moments

Thereafter it was only upward for the star as she went on to produce a number of Billboard 100 hits and eventually became the most charted female in history.

Her most recent achievement, the Pulitzer, shows that Aretha will continue to make strides and open doors for women across the world and will always be known and celebrated as one of the greatest musicians to have graced this earth.

See how a few of her most loyal fans have celebrated her win below.

Showing off her black girl magic in this classic black and white stills

Blessing crowds with her iconic voice

Inspiring millions of people with her voice and hundreds of achievements

Salute to a queen.

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