The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin Dies At 76
The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin passed away early this morning after battling pancreatic cancer, her niece, Sabrina Owens confirmed. Aretha was surrounded by family at her home in Detroit.
A family statement released by her publicist Gwendolyn Quinn said “Franklin’s official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin’s oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute” in Detroit.
The family added: “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.”
In March, Franklin canceled two concerts scheduled in New Jersey. According to a statement from her management team, she was following doctors’ orders to stay off the road and rest completely for two months, and that she was “extremely disappointed she cannot perform as she had expected and hoped to.”
Her last performance was on Nov. 2, 2017, for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York.
Aretha Franklin will live forever leaving behind so many classic songs including “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Chain of Fools,” “Baby I Love You,” “Angel,” “Think,” “Rock Steady,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Freeway of Love.”
Franklin was a Motown Records staple as her voice verberated and transcendent across many musical genres such as gospel, R&B, classical and jazz. She broke many boundaries and created paths for many future black female artist today. She placed nearly 100 hits on Billboard’s R&B chart — 20 of them reaching No. 1. Franklin topped Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time list, and her signature hit, “Respect,” ranked No. 4 on “Songs of the Century.”
The Queen of Soul sang for many presidents and high profile leaders such as Barack Obama, Martin Luther King, Jr. Jesse Jackson, Luciano Pavarotti.
Franklin earned a multitude of awards throughout her career, including 18 Grammy Awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and honorary doctorates from a host of institutions.