Aretha Franklin dies at age 76

Aretha Franklin dies at age 76

Aretha Franklin’s family have confirmed the legendary R&B singer has died at age 76.

Ms Franklin died at 9:50 am (local time) on Thursday in her Detroit home, surrounded by family and friends, according to a statement released by Ms Franklin’s longtime publicist Gwendolyn Quinn on behalf of the singer’s family.

The “official cause of death was due to advanced 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.

The statement has sparked an outpour of tributes from politicians to fellow musicians.

“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,” Ms Franklin’s family statement 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.”

Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days, the statement added.

Despite reports that her health had been failing for several years, Ms Franklin continued performing up until November 2017 and kept her struggles private.

Ms Franklin, who earned the title ‘Queen of soul’, was renowned for her commitment to the US civil rights movement, as well as her unique contributions to music.

She made a plethora of hits including, but certainly not limited to, “Think”, “Respect”, “Natural Woman” and “Baby I Love You”.

Balanced journalism is essential to keeping people properly informed. If you feel our coverage of this story is biased, please let us know.