Aretha Franklin, ‘Queen of Soul,’ Dies at 76

Aretha Franklin, widely known as the ‘Queen of Soul,’ and one of America’s greatest singers of any style, died on Thursday morning at her home in Detroit.

Her death comes three days after she was said to be in hospice care at her home. “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.

“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.

Funeral arrangments will be made in the coming days, the statement said.

Franklin’s Career

Franklin’s music career started when she sang in the gospel choir at her father’s church in Detroit. She recorded her first hit with Atlantic Records in the late 1960’s called ‘I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Loved You).’

She followed with a number of soul hits, including ‘Baby I Love You,’ ‘Think,’ and ‘The House That Jack Built,’ which made her world famous by the 1970’s.

Known for her beautiful and powerful voice, Franklin sang her famous song ‘Respect’ with meaning and fortitude. It was a demand for equality and freedom, carried out by a voice that spoke to many.

Franklin had a very successful singing career. She put more than 100 singles on the Billboard charts, including 17 top 10 pop singles and 20 No. 1 R&B hits. Franklin received 18 Grammy awards and 44 Grammy nominations. She was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and even sang at Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009. She also sang at the pre-inauguration concerts for Jimmy Carter in 1977 and Bill Clinton in 1993.

The Rolling Stone magazine called her greatest singer, male or female, of all time in their 2010 list. She inspired generations of R&B singers after her such as Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, and Natalie Cole.

An outpouring of support and appreciation for Aretha Franklin was seen throughout Twitter today.

Source: The Nectarine

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