Praying for Aretha, who reportedly is gravely ill. I have loved her since I was a toddler, named my family cat after her when I was only 2, listened to her albums on autorepeat all through my childhood, adolescence, womanhood too. Her music has made me feel strong and seen through every heartbreak since I was a tween, has given me a soundtrack for every hard-won victory. She’s the queen and knows it because royalty always knows its worth. If it’s her time, I send light and love for her passage. But selfishly, so selfishly, I wish this woman to stay on the planet as long as I’m here. Through her unblinking glamour, her everything-and-the-kitchen-sink musicality, she’s guided me more than anyone else ever could.