Aretha Franklin, one of the most celebrated singers in popular music, passed away today after a battle with advanced pancreatic cancer. Franklin died at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit, surrounded by family and friends, according to a statement sent by her longtime publicist Gwendolyn Quinn.
“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,” Franklin’s family said.
With over 100 singles breaking into Billboard charts, 18 Grammy awards and an induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame — the first woman to receive the honor — Franklin’s career was nothing if not iconic.
The “Queen of Soul” performed for U.S. presidents including Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, and was also tapped to commemorate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at his funeral in 1968. With instantly-recognizable tracks like “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “Since You Been Gone,” Franklin was a national treasure. Hundreds of fans went to Twitter to pay their respect and share their fondest memory of the iconic singer.
The world has truly lost one of its icons. R.I.P. Aretha Franklin.
RIP Aretha Franklin
— Gucci Mane (@gucci1017) August 16, 2018
The moment I wake up, before I put on my make up, I say a little prayer for you
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) August 16, 2018
Aretha Franklin (1942-2018) (receiving award from MLK, 1967, Detroit): pic.twitter.com/yCqDZt9yjM
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) August 16, 2018