Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul who recorded dozens of hits including “Respect” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, died Thursday morning at the age of 76.
The singer’s publicist Gwendolyn Quinn said Franklin passed away at her Detroit home of advanced pancreatic cancer.
Her 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 hearts. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family.”
Franklin became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and her reputation was defined in a run of top-10 smash hits in the late 1960s.
Her records sold millions of copies and Franklin was an 18-time Grammy Award winner.
Reports surfaced Monday that Franklin was gravely ill and was surrounded by family and friends.
With files from the Canadian Press.