Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin dies at 76

Beyonce and Aretha Franklin

Beyonce and Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin, the long-reigning Queen of Soul, died on Thursday morning at age 76 from advanced pancreatic cancer. She had battled through several health issues throughout the years, including pancreatic cancer in 2011. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family, ' a statement from her family read.

"Hillary and I mourn the loss of our friend Aretha Franklin, one of America's greatest national treasures", President Bill Clinton said in a statement obtained by Variety. Franklin's love of music began when she started singing in her father's church on Sundays, according to the Detroit Historical Society, and when she was 17 her grandmother brought her to NY to pursue her singing ambitions. "As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this hard time", the family's statement continued.

They have said funeral arrangements will be announced "in the coming days".

Franklin announced her partial retirement a year ago, saying she would release one last album and perform at "some select things". She was 76 years old. In 2005, Franklin received the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush. Her final public performance was in November at Elton John's annual AIDS Foundation gala in NY.

She eventually racked up more than 110 entries in Billboard magazine's charts, the most by any woman in the magazine's history.

Evans respected Franklin's approach to her work, and the way she managed to make a successful career for herself.

Chilina Kennedy, who played King in the stage show about her life lovely, spoke about Natural Woman becoming a hit - before welcoming one of the greatest singers of our time to the stage. People loved Aretha. She was a special woman.

Bey, who has clashed with the Queen of Soul in the past, made the tribute before performing her opening song at Ford Field stadium. With her death, the American singer has left a void in the musical world that will be hard to fill.

But Aretha did and she raised the roof.
She sang and played magnificently, and we all wept. Her father was famous in his own right, and when the family moved to Detroit while Aretha Franklin was a child, their house often hosted figures like Nat King Cole, Martin Luther King Jr, and Mahalia Jackson.

Her records sold millions of copies and the music industry couldn't honor her enough.

She may be most famously known for songs like "Respect" and 'Think"-which she memorably performed in the 1980s Chicago based film 'The Blues Brothers".

In recent years she was doted for showing up when called upon, either at ceremonies celebrating the past, or at Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration where she famously wore a metric ton of fabric on her head.

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