Her legendary voice and contributions to the music industry, Aretha Franklin has dies at the age of 76 Thursday morning. Her publicist Gwendolyn Quinn confirmed in a press release early Thursday morning.
“It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Aretha Louise Franklin, the Queen of Soul. Franklin, 76 years old, passed away on Thursday morning, August 16 at 9:50 A.M. at her home in Detroit, MI, surrounded by family and loved ones,” the statement read. “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.”
She leaves behind the legacy that has spanned over six decades, inducted her into the Hall of Fame, awarded her 18 Grammy Awards, highlighted her as a civil rights activist and cultural icon and rooted the sound of soulful singing. She is an influence on artists, songwriters and musicians of all generations. Her cover songs made her well-known, but her songwriting talent kept her going throughout her career.
One thing that never changed was her gospel roots and how it was the embodiment of her sound and driving force of her career. She was born to a minister at Motor City’s New Bethel Baptist Church, and the influences it brought to the Franklin family started her journey.
Fast forward to 2010, Franklin underwent surgery for an undisclosed illness. This was the fall from health issues rising and cancelations of concerts and performances.
“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 statement continues. “the love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins knew no bounds.”
She leaves behind her four sons Clarence Franklin, 63, Edward Franklin, 61, Ted White Jr., 54, and Kecalf Cunningham, 48.
“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,” the statement continues. “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.”
Funeral arrangements are in the works and will be announced later this week.