Legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin passed away on Thursday. She was 76 years old.
In recent days, a myriad of family and friends, including Stevie Wonder, Jesse Jackson, Glynn Turman and more, visited Franklin in her Detroit home to say their final good-byes. It was in this home where Aretha died at 9:50am “due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type”, according to a statement from the family.
“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,” said the family in a statement to the AP. “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.”
Aretha’s storied career spanned several decades and garnered the Queen of Soul 20 Grammys, including the Legend Award and Lifetime Achievement Award. With a pastor for a father, ‘Retha’s roots were firmly planted in gospel music, although she dominated R&B. Known for her chart-topping hits, “Respect”, “(You Make me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Think”, “Chain Of Fools” and many others, it’s no surprise that many fans took their mourning to social media.
The last time Franklin performed was on Nov. 17 for Elton John’s annual AIDS Foundation gala. Elton tweeted these beautiful words about the woman he admired:
RIP, Queen of Soul.
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