Aretha Franklin 'Queen of Soul' dies at 76
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News August 16, 2018 Updated: 3:57 PM PT
Aretha Franklin, better known as the “Queen of Soul” has died at the age of 76. With classics such as, "Respect," "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," "Chain of Fools," "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)," and “Think," Franklin’s passing leaves not just the musical world but the world itself in mourning at the loss of an icon.
Franklin’s family issued a statement via her longtime representative:
“It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Aretha Louise Franklin, the Queen of Soul,” in a statement issued by Franklin’s family through her longtime publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn.
Franklin passed away on Thursday morning, August 16 at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit, MI, surrounded by family and loved ones. 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.
“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.”
“We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers.
We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.”
Franklin’s legacy spans six decades as her vocal mastery stretched across various genres of music, from gospel to R&B to pop to opera.
She earned 18 Grammy Awards throughout her career as well as a Grammy lifetime achievement award and a living legend award. She was also the first female vocalist to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
She leaves a host of memorable performances such as her tribute to close family friend Martin Luther King Jr. singing "Precious Lord" at his funeral which was held at her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin's church to her 1998 Grammy performance of "Nessun Dorma" while filling in for an ailing Luciano Pavarotti.
Franklin has performed at the inaugurations of Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.
Former President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama said in a statement: “America has no royalty. But we do have a chance to earn something more enduring. Born in Memphis and raised in Detroit, Aretha Franklin grew up performing gospel songs in her father’s congregation. For more than six decades since, every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine.
Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, 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. She helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human.
And sometimes she helped us just forget about everything else and dance. Aretha may have passed on to a better place, but the gift of her music remains to inspire us all. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace. Michelle and I send our prayers and warmest sympathies to her family and all those moved by her song.”