Aretha Franklin has passed away at 76 on Thursday, August 16.
“It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Aretha Louise Franklin, the Queen of Soul,” her family said in a statement on Thursday, via publicist Gwendolyn Quinn.
“Franklin [sic] passed away on Thursday morning, August 16 at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit, MI, surrounded by family and loved ones,” the statement continued. “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, MI.”
According to a Detroit journalist close to the “Queen of Soul,” her health had been lagging for some time.
“I am so saddened to report that the Queen of Soul and my good friend, Aretha Franklin is gravely ill,” Evrod Cassimy wrote on Monday. “I spoke with her family members this morning. She is asking for your prayers at this time.”
Aretha Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennissee in 1942. Her father, C.L. Vaughn, was a famous pastor and civil rights activist. Her mother, Barbara, was a gospel singer. When Franklin turned 2, her family left Memphis and headed for Detroit to start a church.
Franklin was a high school dropout, but went on to study classical piano at Julliard School of Music in 1998. She also holds two honorary degrees from Yale University and Berklee College of Music.
Since then, Franklin has gone on to become one of the most iconic female artists in history. She holds the record as the third-most Grammy winning female artist in history. Some of Franklin’s most famous songs include “Respect”, “(You Make Me Feel Like a Natural) Woman”, and “I Say a Little Prayer”.
She’s received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the NAACP Hall of Fame, and the Apollo Theater Legends Hall of Fame.
Franklin is truly an icon in every sense of the word. The news of her poor health condition has attracted attention from all corners of the Internet. Now, fans and artists alike are paying tribute to Franklin.
Hillary Clinton shared a few kind words about the RESPECT singer.
Mourning the loss today of @ArethaFranklin who shared her spirit and talent with the world. She deserves not only our RESPECT but also our lasting gratitude for opening our eyes, ears and hearts. Rest in eternal peace, my friend.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 16, 2018
As did Beatles legend Paul McCartney.
Let’s all take a moment to give thanks for the beautiful life of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of our souls, who inspired us all for many many years. She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever. Love Paul pic.twitter.com/jW4Gpwfdts
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) August 16, 2018
Zoe Saldana weighed in.
We honor you @ArethaFranklin on your trip to the beyond and I wish your family and friends peace in times like these. Rest In Peace, Queen of "SOUL" always and forever.
— Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) August 16, 2018
As per usual, Barack Obama eloquently delivered his tribute to Franklin.
Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade—our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace. pic.twitter.com/bfASqKlLc5
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 16, 2018