It is always voices.
This is why, although the death of Bowie was the end of an era, and the death of Prince was unexpected and grim, the death of Aretha is something else entirely.
Her music was music to feel feelings to; whatever fashion or excitement was happening in the charts or outside the charts, Aretha's voice was the one to go to when you needed to remember what real emotion feels like, and to hear that expressed for you by a voice that was the pinnacle of human emotion translated into wonderful singing: a voice that actually transcended the descriptive word 'singing'.
Aretha channelled life itself; she was connected to an energy force, a mediator between the sublime and mere humanity. She could connect a room full of listeners to each other, whether on a turntable in a little grubby urban club, or on a huge stage making a political statement by even existing before the performance began.
When the opening bars of Say a Little Prayer shuffled into the room, everyone looked at each other: 'It's our song!' Everyone has a favourite Aretha song, and it's more of a favourite even than the favourite song they always have.
Bless you Aretha in all of your fabulousness, for you truly were a fabulous woman.