Detroit - Aretha Franklin, the undisputed “Queen of Soul” who sang with matchless style on such classics as “Think,” ″I Say a Little Prayer” and her signature song, “Respect,” and stood as a cultural icon around the globe, has died at age 76 from advanced pancreatic cancer.
Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn told The Associated Press through a family statement that Franklin died on Thursday at 9:50am at her home in Detroit. The statement said “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.
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.
“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.”
Franklin cancelled planned concerts earlier this year after she was ordered by her doctor to stay off the road and rest up. The 76-year-old announced plans to retire last year, saying she would perform at "some select things."
All week fans, friends and musicians influenced by Franklin offered positive words to the iconic singer when news broke that she was ill, including Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey, Chaka Khan, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tyler Perry, Missy Elliott and Wayne Brady.
Stevie Wonder also visited her on Tuesday.
AP and Reuters