World Mourns Death Of Aretha Franklin

August 14, 2018 - 6:15 am

by Erica Brosnan

DETROIT (1010 WINS) -- Aretha Franklin, the long-reigning "Queen of Soul'' who sang with matchless style on such classics as "Think'' and her signature song, "Respect,'' died Thursday at age 76, said her representative, Gwendolyn Quinn.

The cause was advanced pancreatic cancer.

Quinn said through a family statement that Franklin died Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit. The statement said "Franklin's 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 added: "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.''

The statement continued:

"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.

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Born in Memphis, Tennessee to a preacher and piano teacher, Franklin initially found her roots singing gospel music in the 1950s. Her rise to fame came in 1960 with the release of her debut album, “Aretha: With The Ray Bryant Combo.”

Franklin went on to win 18 Grammy Awards and became widely known for her many hits, including “Respect,” “Freeway of Love” and “I Say a Little Prayer.”

Franklin had been credited as one of the most definitive female soul singers of the 1960s and became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Initial reports that the singer was "gravely ill" came on Monday, Aug. 13.

WDIV Local 4 in Detroit reported that she had checked into a hospital on Aug. 10 and was visited by family and close friends, who confirmed she was in poor health.

CNN reported that Franklin had been placed in home hospice care on Tuesday, but did not appear to be recovering.

Earlier in the year, Franklin had canceled multiple concerts after being ordered by her doctor to stay off the road and rest.

She reportedly was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2011, but denied the reports.

In 2017, the soul singer announced her plans to retire and said she would only be performing at “some select things.”

Franklin is survived by her four sons.