Aretha Franklin dies aged 76
Singer Aretha Franklin has died at the age of 76.
Franklin, who had been ill for some time, passed away at her home in Detroit earlier today (August 16th). She had been suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer.
In a statement, Franklin's 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. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins knew no bounds."
Born in 1942, Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in her hometown of Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was the minister.
Aged just 18, she was then signed by Columbia Records but only achieved modest success. That changed in 1966 after she moved to Atlantic Records and began working with the famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, recording her I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You album, which featured hit singles 'Respect' and 'Do Right Woman, Do Right Man'.
In the years that followed, Franklin, who earned the nickname 'The Queen Of Soul', would go on to sell over 75 million records worldwide and release over 100 hit singles, including the likes of 'Chain Of Fools', 'Think' and '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman'.
Tributes from the likes of Carole King, Elton John and more, have been paid to Franklin and a selection are included below:
RIP Aretha Franklin what a voice x— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) August 16, 2018
Let’s all take a moment to give thanks for the beautiful life of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of our souls, who inspired us all for many many years. She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever. Love Paul pic.twitter.com/jW4Gpwfdts— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) August 16, 2018
It was a double thrill for me to perform on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera on my 85th birthday and have the Queen of Soul (and heart) Aretha Franklin singing with me....she will be missed by the world. pic.twitter.com/74VM9IYejI— Tony Bennett (@itstonybennett) August 16, 2018