photo credit: mark rein stein // Shutterstock
The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, has passed away at the age of 76 in her Detroit home, surrounded by friends and family.
The “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,” the family statement 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. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds,” Franklin’s family said.
“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.”
Aretha has been struggling for years with her health, leading her to stop touring in 2017, though she continued to book individual shows. Earlier this year, she was given doctors ordered to cancel performances. The singer’s final public performance was last November, when she sang at an Elton John AIDS Foundation gala in New York. Earlier this week, the family was told that Aretha could “pass at anytime.”
Aretha started recording gospel music at the age of 14, touring in gospel with her father. In 1960, she was signed to Columbia Records. In year a year and a half, Aretha racked up 10 Top Ten hits. She became the first woman to be admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she gained 88 Billboard charting hits, and she won 18 Grammys including Best R&B Female for 8 years straight.
Funeral arrangements will be announced soon. RIP to the Queen of Soul