Aretha Franklin, widely regarded as the queen of soul music, has died at the age of 76.
The iconic singer and trailblazer on Thursday died from advanced pancreatic cancer at her home in Detroit, Michigan, US.
Franklin was responsible for many evergreen classics such as ‘I Say a Little Prayer’, ‘A Rose is still a Rose’, ‘Natural Woman’, Chain of Fools’, ‘Respect’, and ‘Think’.
Gwendolyn Quinn, her publicist, announced Franklin’s death via a statement put together by her family.
The statement read: “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.
“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.”
Franklin, an accomplished pianist who took the world by storm in her mid-20s, is arguably the greatest vocalist of her time.
She sold millions of records around the world, won 18 Grammy awards and in 1987, she became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In January 2009, Franklin sang the powerful ‘My Country ’tis of Thee’ at Barack Obama’s inauguration as US president.
Before her death, Franklin was said to have been working on a final album which was being produced by Stevie Wonder.