Bill Cosby pays tribute to Aretha Franklin – and makes it all about him

Disgraced comedy star Bill Cosby faced online backlash on Thursday after paying tribute to the late Aretha Franklin by remembering the Queen of Soul for her work on his “The Cosby Show” spinoff “A Different World.”

“Are you tweeting from jail?” one commenter asked about Cosby’s tweeted remembrance, while another snarked: “Wifi must be good in cellblock c.”

Cosby, who was convicted in April on three counts of aggravated assault, has remained mostly out of the spotlight in recent months — though his tweet about Franklin sparked an outcry.

“ Aretha Franklin– I want to thank her for her wonderful voice singing the theme song of ‘A Different World,'” Cosby tweeted. “She made a big, strong positive impact on that series.  I am playing a cut from her CD – the title of the song is ‘Wholy Holy’ – and she’s live in a church.  Bon Voyage…..”

Franklin died Thursday in Detroit at the age of 76 after a long battle with diabetes and other physical ailments. During her career, Franklin won 18 Grammys, including a lifetime achievement award in 1994. She was also the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Cosby is currently out on $1 million bond awaiting sentencing after his April conviction for charges stemming from accusations by former Temple University employee Andrea Constand.

The disgraced star created “A Different World,” which aired for six seasons on NBC from September 24, 1987 to July 9, 1993. It followed Denise Huxtable (Lisa Bonet) and students at a fictional historical black college in Virginia.

Franklin sang the theme song for seasons two to five.

27 PHOTOS
World reacts to death of Aretha Franklin
See Gallery
World reacts to death of Aretha Franklin
There is a bright FLAME about to go out , ONLY GOD KNOW WHEN Say a prayer and let her go -deep Breath
My thoughts, my heart and my prayers are with Aretha Franklin, the greatest singer of all time, and all of her loved ones right now. ❤
The loss of @ArethaFranklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Ch… https://t.co/B2hyd3jckZ
Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul. The Icon. The ultimate singers' singer. The greatest singer and musician of my… https://t.co/wIsc0Ktobs
You showed me I could sing the songs I wanted to sing and bring God with me. You've inspired millions everywhere ye… https://t.co/y0eJRdakP8
I will forever cherish the moments I spent in your presence. Your indelible impact was earned not only by your inco… https://t.co/FIWV1M0iOF
Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade… https://t.co/hUcQpbdydq
Mourning the loss today of @ArethaFranklin who shared her spirit and talent with the world. She deserves not only o… https://t.co/a5lZIFYMCL
Salute to the Queen. The greatest vocalist I've ever known. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 #Aretha
Like people all around the world, Hillary and I are thinking about Aretha Franklin tonight & listening to her music… https://t.co/ZOiopFEYeU
This photo was taken in 2012 when Aretha & I performed at a tribute celebration for our friend Marvin Hamlisch. It’… https://t.co/cwLCGbVVmP
Love and prayers for Aretha Franklin. The most soulful angelic voice that ever was. You are the queen and we love you. ❤️
Lucky enough to have seen Aretha live exactly once, and this was it. Thank you for the music, we will be listening… https://t.co/tMwKepFLYl
The @AmericanIdol fam had the great privilege of working with the iconic Aretha Franklin for a special ep in Detroi… https://t.co/UZ4mbEMbq7
Aretha.
Goodbye Ms. Aretha. You were my idol. The greatest singer of all time. Every note you sang was pure and authentic… https://t.co/NQkPqu1OHu
R.I.P. Aretha Franklin Queen Of Soul 🙏🏿
We mourn the passing of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul. Her voice will keep lifting us, through the music she g… https://t.co/GzNto6ldXn
RIP Aretha Franklin
My prayers are with Aretha Franklin & her family during this difficult time 🙏🏾 LOOK BELOW @ what I tweeted at the t… https://t.co/O33cqaJ1RG
RIP Aretha Franklin. Trailblazer, icon, and Queen. Thank you, thank you, thank you. #RESPECT
RIP Aretha Franklin, a true great. Thank you for your music x
Queen. My Queen, We Are Singing You A Sunrise. Surrounding You with Love & Light @ArethaFranklin... Queen. OUR QUEE… https://t.co/Z44Ig82DMq
Rest In Peace to the Queen #ArethaFranklin #QueenofSoul 🙏🏽 https://t.co/99aDN8UfSO
RIP #ArethaFranklin - you changed music forever and will be remembered as one of the all time greats. The world has… https://t.co/v41oZryF2j
RIP Aretha Franklin what a voice x
There will NEVER be another Aretha Franklin. Only those inspired by her as they reach for the impossible. https://t.co/9iYaGo0ZoW
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story

Sign up for Entertainment Insider by AOL to get the hottest pop culture news delivered straight to your inbox!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.