Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, Dead at 76

  /  08.16.2018

Aretha Franklin, known as the Queen of Soul, died Thursday at the age of 76.

The music icon passed away at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit, surrounded by family and friends, according to her longtime publicist Gwendolyn Quinn. Her official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type.

“It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Aretha Louise Franklin, the Queen of Soul,” Quinn said in a statement. “Franklin … passed away on Thursday morning, August 16 at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit, MI, surrounded by family and loved ones. In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.

“We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.”

Her death comes three days after sources close to Franklin revealed that she was “gravely ill.” The singer had struggled with her health for years, but kept matters private. In February 2017, she announced that she would stop touring, but continued to book concerts. Her final public performance was in November at Elton John’s annual AIDS Foundation gala in New York.

A cultural icon who broke musical, racial, and gender barriers, Franklin’s catalog of classics included “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” and “Chain of Fools.” She earned over 100 singles on the Billboard charts, including 17 Top 10 pop singles and 20 No. 1 R&B hits. She won 18 Grammy Awards, along with a lifetime achievement award in 1994. She was the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and sang at the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968 and inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009.

Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days.

Franklin inspired legions of artists, many of whom paid their respects to the legendary singer on social media.


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