The music world is currently experiencing one of its saddest and heartbreaking periods. Aretha Franklin, known as the “Queen of Soul”, has died at the age of 76.
Franklin’s publicist told the Associated Press that she died at her home in Detroit on Thursday.
The Associated Press, on Monday, August 13, disclosed that a person close to Franklin informed them that the iconic soul-singer was “seriously ill” but declined to give any further details.
Earlier Rumors of Franklin’s Declining Health
In 2007, there were concerns over the health of Aretha Franklin when she ended her performance in Detroit with an appeal to the fans to “please keep me in your prayers”.
Although there were no tangible details provided, Franklin canceled a series of upcoming concerts in March 2018 after her doctor ordered her to “stay off the road and rest completely for at least the next two months”.
Franklin’s management released a statement at that time saying that the Queen of Soul was “extremely disappointed she cannot perform as she had expected and hoped to.”
The sad news of Aretha Franklin’s death was delivered by the Associated Press through Twitter on Thursday morning:
Publicist for Aretha Franklin says the Queen of Soul died Thursday at her home in Detroit. https://t.co/EEqRxODtPo
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 16, 2018
Prior to her death after she was reported to be gravely ill, Beyoncé showed her support by dedicating her concert with Jay-Z in Detroit to Franklin.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z sent their love and well-wishes to Aretha Franklin
— The Detroit News (@detroitnews) August 14, 2018
In the wake of Franklin’s death, fans, friends, and high-profile figures have taken to social media to mourn the death of the great American soul singer and pay their respects.
Here’s what they had to say on social media:
Salute to the Queen. The greatest vocalist I’ve ever known. ?????????? #Aretha
— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 16, 2018
Aretha was such a timeless inspiration to me and so many others, the ultimate queen, thank you for the gift of your voice, music and unshakeable soul ?? pic.twitter.com/me3FXBY4WZ
— Christina Aguilera (@xtina) August 16, 2018
Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade—our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace. pic.twitter.com/bfASqKlLc5
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 16, 2018
An official statement was released by Franklin’s family following confirmation that her death was due to advanced pancreatic cancer. The statement read in part:
“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…
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 Franklin’s music and powerful voice have transcended gender, race and encompassed ages. In her decades-long career, she cemented her place in American history and her passing truly marks the end of an era.
We are very sad to see such a legendary icon go. But her inspiring memories will be treasured in our hearts and her legacy will live on forever.