Aretha Franklin

Tributes As The Queen Of Soul, Aretha Franklin Dies Aged 76

Aretha Franklin

Dies Aged 76

Tributes have begun to pour in for American soul singer, , who has died after battling undisclosed health problems for several years.

Franklin, whose gospel-rooted singing and bluesy yet expansive delivery earned her the title “the Queen of Soul,” died on Thursday. She was 76.

Franklin died at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit, surrounded by family and friends, according to a statement on behalf of Franklin’s family from her longtime publicist Gwendolyn Quinn.

The “official cause of death was due to advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin’s oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit,” the family statement said.

The statement 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. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds,” Franklin’s family said.

“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.”

“Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days.”

Franklin had more than 20 US chart hits over a music career spanning seven decades.

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The star gave her final performance last November at a gala in New York held in aid of the Elton John Aids Foundation.

Born in Memphis to a gospel singer/pianist and a celebrated Baptist preacher, Franklin was tutored from an early age by such gospel stars as Mahalia Jackson and Clara Ward.

She struggled to find fame in the early years, with record label Columbia unsure how to frame her impressively powerful voice.

Meanwhile, tributes have begun to flood in for her.

Sir Elton John led the tributes on his Instagram account, writing: “The loss of is a blow for everybody who loves real music.

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“Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated… I adored her and worshipped her talent. God bless her. My condolences to all her family and friends.”

Annie Lennox said: “She has reigned supreme. and will always be held in the highest firmament of stars as the most exceptional vocalist, performer and recording artist the world has ever been privileged to witness.

“Superlatives are often used to describe astonishing artists, but in my view even superlatives seem insufficient.”

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