The Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin, has passed away at the age of 76. She passed this morning at 9:50 am at her home in Detroit. Franklin’s publicist has confirmed her passing.
Franklin’s oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of the Karamonos Cancer Institute confirmed that the cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type.
The family issued a statement saying:
“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.”
Although Franklin never really did go public with having any type of illness, those close to her stated she was first diagnosed with cancer in 2010. The result of which caused her to cancel several performances, stating she was going to undergo surgery for an undisclosed ailment.
In early 2017 Franklin announced she would be retiring from the concert circuit but would continue performing at a handful of select events.
Her final performance of her life was at a private money raising event for Elton John’s AIDS Foundation. She saw the release of her final album that month as well.
Franklin was born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis Tennessee. Her singing career began in the gospel genre at her father’s church in Detroit. At the young age of eighteen, she was signed by Columbia Records. Her career didn’t really start to take off until she signed on with Atlantic Records in 1967.
It is with Atlantic that she belted out the iconic songs that to this very day she is known for, including Natural Woman, Chain of Fools, and Respect. The latter of which would top the charts at No. 1 and would go on to become a worldwide favorite.
Franklin leaves behind her family as well as a grieving fan base that realizes that they have seen the passing of a legend, the likes of which will never be seen again.
Rest In Peace sweet lady.