Actress and singer Mandy Moore praised Franklin as having "the most incredible legacy" while speaking to the Associated Press.
But although friends have disclosed the I Say A Little Prayer singer has "been ill for a long time", her family remain hopeful she will pull through. "Just got a chance to speak to Aretha Franklin".
Former President Bill Clinton spoke for himself and his wife Hillary in a thoughtful note shared to Twitter, saying to his millions of followers, "We hope you'll lift her up by listening and sharing her songs that have meant the most to you". "They took me to a concert and remember watching her backstage with her fur and diamonds commanding the room like a boss".
"Adding my prayer to the galaxy of prayers for Aretha today", tweeted "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The American singer and songwriter's nephew later provided an update on her health - insisting she will "pull through" her recent bout of illness.
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"Prayers going up for the Queen of Soul tonight".
The card read: "Book of Love and Healing for Aretha, the Queen".
He said there were times when Franklin would have to cancel appearances for health reasons and on doctor's orders. Rev. Jesse Jackson was scheduled to visit Franklin on Wednesday.
"She gives to the needy, the homeless", Franklin's assistant Fannie Tyler told assembled news media while thanking the church for the vigil. "She's definitely a queen and she's incredible so I really feel for her".
In an unusual move, a tribute concert produced by Live Nation and spearheaded by Sony Music Chief Creative Officer Clive Davis, who signed Franklin to Arista Records in 1980, has already been announced.
The singer announced she was retiring from touring in 2017, and her final performance took place at the Elton John AIDS Foundation benefit in NY in November.