Aretha Franklin, the undisputed “Queen of Soul” who sang with matchless style on such classics as “Think,” ”I Say a Little Prayer” and her signature song, “Respect,” and stood as a cultural icon around the globe, has died at age 76 from advanced pancreatic cancer.
Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn tells The Associated Press through a family statement that Franklin passed Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit.
The statement said “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.
In Memphis, people are traveling to Franklin’s childhood home to pay their respects. The small house is boarded up and fenced, but people are writing condolences on the window boards.
Today her family said:
“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.”
Legendary Soul Man Sam Moore was a label mate and close friends with Franklin and joined many others in paying tribute to the Queen of Soul last year at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
“Aretha Franklin and I have been friends and label mates for more than sixty years. I adored her and I know the feelings were mutual. While I’m heartbroken that she’s gone I know she’s in the Lord’s arms and she’s not in pain or suffering anymore from the damn cancer that took her away from us. I’m going to hope, pray and count on the fact that I will see her again sometime. Rest in the Lord’s arms in love, Re.”