World famous Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, has died at the age of 76 at her home in Detroit, USA, surrounded by family and friends, according to a statement on behalf of Franklin’s family from her longtime publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn.
Franklin whose gospel-rooted singing and bluesy yet expansive delivery earned her the title ‘the Queen of Soul,’ died at exactly 9:50 am 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.
Her death comes three days after a family source told CNN that the singer was in hospice care.
The statement announcing the death of the star reads:
“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 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 said.
The singer had been reported to be in failing health for years and appeared frail in recent photos, but she kept her struggles private.