Home Arts & Entertainment Music ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin dies at 76

‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin dies at 76

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President George W. Bush presents Aretha Franklin with the Presidential Medal of Freedom Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005, during ceremonies in the East Room of the White House. Photo by Paul Morse, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

Aretha Franklin, “Queen of Soul,” died Thursday morning due to advanced pancreatic cancer at age 76, according to a family statement.

“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,” Franklin’s family said.

Franklin had struggled with pancreatic cancer since December  2010 when she had undergone a mysterious but “highly successful” surgery. Since her comeback show in Chicago in 2011, Franklin cancelled several performances because of her declining health from 2011 to 2017.

Signed to Atlantic Records, the 18-time Grammy-award-winning singer from Detroit was known for hits such as “Respect,”  “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” in the 1960s and 70s and sold 75 million records during her lifetime.

Franklin sang publicly for the last time on Nov. 7, 2017 in New York City for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Elton John tweeted in tribute to Franklin minutes after her death was announced.

“The whole world will miss her but will always rejoice in her remarkable legacy. The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen,” John said.