The four-octave singer Aretha Franklin, whose powerful voice has earned her the title “the Queen of Soul,” has passed away, according to a family statement on Thursday. She was 76.
The “Respect” singer died at 9:50 AM in her home in Detroit, surrounded by her family and friends.
The family statement said: “Franklin’s 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.”
Since the announcement, tributes and loving messages have started pouring in.
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
The greatest voice in American popular music has been stilled. Our beloved #ArethaFranklin has gone. For me, she was a musical lighthouse, guiding and inspiring with every note. I loved her so and love her still. Goodbye, Queen of Soul.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) August 16, 2018
08/17 Mike Luckovich: Heavenly. https://t.co/dVbyuhCFlR
— mike luckovich (@mluckovichajc) August 16, 2018
On Monday, news outlets reported that the 18-time Grammy winner’s health was rapidly deteriorating. One Detroit news anchor and close personal friend of Aretha said, “I am so saddened to report that the Queen of Soul and my good friend, Aretha Franklin is gravely ill.”
“I spoke with her family members this morning. She is asking for your prayers at this time. I’ll have more details as I’m allowed to release.”
It’s been reported that the legendary soul singer’s condition has been taking a turn for the worse in the recent years. Back in 2010, several reports confirmed that Aretha was fighting pancreatic cancer. According to the singer, her health issue was already “resolved” by January 2011, although another source argued that Aretha continued to struggle with her cancer over the years.
This may have led the Memphis-born star to decide to leave the music world for good back in 2017.
One source close to the singer claimed that “she could go at any time,” claiming that her body weight was down to 86 pounds.
Fans mourning her death have started decorating her Hollywood Walk of Fame star in Los Angeles with flowers and crowns.
— Peggy DeOrio (@psdeorio) August 16, 2018
The singer’s final public performance was in November 2017, during an Elton John AIDS Foundation gala in New York.
Although she may no longer be with us today, Aretha’s memory and her unforgettable voice will live on forever. Rest in peace, queen.