Aretha Franklin has died, aged 76

Publish Date
Friday, 17 August 2018, 5:11AM
Photo - NZ Herald

Photo - NZ Herald

Aretha Franklin - the Queen of Soul - has passed away after becoming gravely ill with advanced pancreatic cancer.

A statement released by Franklin's longtime publicist Gwendolyn Quinn says she died on Thursday morning, US time, surrounded by friends and family at her home 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," the family says in the statement.

Funeral arrangements will be made in the coming days.

Social media has been flooded by an outpouring of love for Franklin:

Born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1942 Aretha’s music career exploded by the time she reached her 20s.

She is responsible for hit songs Natural Woman, I Say a Little Prayer and most famously, Respect.

Over her life, Aretha gathered numerous accolades, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994 and a place in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Music executive and record producer Clive Davis - who help Aretha revive her career in the 80s - described the late star as “truly one of a kind”.

“She was more than the Queen of Soul. She was a national treasure to be cherished by every generation throughout the world.”