The 64-year-old singer Aretha Franklin has been slated to receive the Award of Excellence from the United Negro College Fund, and thus becoming the first female artist ever to receive the honor.
Franklin is being honored for her work with the college fund to provide deserving students with access to higher education as well as for her activism and philanthropy on behalf of other causes.
UNCF president Michael Lomax said Franklin's career had "established a standard of excellence that exemplifies the educational distinction to which our member colleges are dedicated and to which they hold their students".
Franklin has been slated to receive the honor at the college fund's An Evening of Stars, to be taped Sept. 8-9 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. The annual TV special will air nationwide in late January 2007.