It has been announced today that ‘The Queen Of Soul’, Aretha Franklin, has died at her home in Detroit at the age of 76.
Her publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn, announced through a family statement that she died last Thursday morning of advanced pancreatic cancer. Her family have said:
“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 singer was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and announced last year that she would be retiring from music.
Franklin had an illustrious career spanning several decades. With hits to her name including ‘Respect’, ‘I Say A Little Prayer’ and ‘Think’, she became renowned around the world and was an icon of black pride.
She became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and was awarded the Presidential Medal Of Freedom in 2005 for ‘capturing the hearts of millions of Americans’.
After reducing President Obama to tears with her performance of ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’, she gave her final performance last November at a gala in New York for the Elton John Aids Foundation.