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AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins praised Aretha Franklin, who died Thursday, as a civil rights champion as well as a legendary singer and shared an original song the R&B queen recorded in 2007 for an AARP-produced video.
Titled “Stand Up for Yourself,” the song was a campaign theme for the Divided We Fail Coalition, an effort that established guiding principles for what was to become national health reform.
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“Aretha Franklin was not only the Queen of Soul, but also a civil rights icon and a champion for all Americans’ access to health care,” said Jenkins. “In 2007, AARP worked with Ms. Franklin on an original song, ‘Stand Up for Yourself,’ which was the anthem for what, years later, became the Affordable Care Act. Franklin urged us to ‘Let’s make the choice: We stand as one because divided we fail.’ Her plea is as timeless today as it was more than a decade ago. She will be missed.”