Aretha Franklin, "Queen of Soul", Dead at 76

Remembering Aretha Franklin With 7 of Her Greatest Theatrical Performances

Remembering Aretha Franklin With 7 of Her Greatest Theatrical Performances

She was 76 years old. 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, MI.

Gospel and soul singer Candi Staton, who traveled on the gospel circuit with Franklin during that decade when they were teens, recalled that her friend was a "gifted singer even as a young girl", though no one knew then all the hits that would follow with her unique voice.

Read the Obamas' full statement on Franklin below.

"The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, is dead".

Franklin was born March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee. Producer Jerry Wexler had the good sense to put her voice and piano at the center of a kicking Southern rhythm section, stand back and let her be.

"What I love about it is that she never lost her connection to the church and that church training was always channeled through her music regardless of what she was singing", Staton told RNS.

For wetter or worse: Philippine bride defies storm
Residents wash chairs next to a submerged vehicle after flashfloods brought by continuous monsoon rains in Marikina, Metro Manila. A statue is seen submerged along a flooded street next to a river bank, after continuous monsoon rains in Marikina, Metro Manila.

Her 1967 song Respect demanded common decency be shown to women, and paved the way for celebrity feminism - some 50 years before it manifested with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements of today. In 1972, her album Amazing Grace highlighted her gospel background.

While her career dipped in the mid-1970s, she experienced a revival in the 1980s, buoyed by her appearance in The Blues Brothers and collaborations with artists like George Michael and Eurythmics. In 2005, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2017, she announced her retirement from touring, though said she'd continue to work on music. She sang "Precious Lord, Take My Hand", at Jackson's funeral and also performed the song, which was one of the favorites of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., at the 2011 dedication of the Washington memorial in his honor.

In 2014, she released an album of covers from across the soul spectrum - not just Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U", but also Adele's "Rolling in the Deep". A biopic, Queen of Soul, will star Jennifer Hudson, who Franklin considered one of her first choices to play her.

Trump posted a tweet that concluded: "She will be missed!"

She was the mother of four sons: Clarence, Edward, Ted and Kecalf.

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