Legendary soul and blues singer Aretha Franklin passed away on Thursday evening at the age of 76 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Fans worldwide are mourning the death of the voice who was named the “Queen of Soul.”
‘Queen of Soul’
News of the singer’s passing was confirmed by her publicist Gwendolyn Quinn.
Franklin reportedly had long battled with advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, but did not want to publicize her illness.
She suffered from various health problems and had difficulty maintaining her weight prior to her death.
Friends in the music industry and some family members were the last people who visited her. She is survived by four sons who are her children from different relationships.
Overseas, her death has been mourned by the likes of fellow music legends such as former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, contemporary pop stars such as Ariana Grande and people of power such as US President Donald Trump.
The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, is dead. She was a great woman, with a wonderful gift from God, her voice. She will be missed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2018
Filipino artists such as singer and actor Ogie Alcasid have also paid tribute to the late Franklin.
Singer Lea Salonga meanwhile thanked Franklin for her time on earth.
Rest In Peace to one of the greats, Aretha Franklin. For all you’ve done, a grateful world thanks you.
— Lea Salonga (@MsLeaSalonga) August 16, 2018
Franklin was born on March 25, 1942 in Memphis Tennessee. Her family later moved to Detroit, Michigan, where she would later reside before her death.
The daughter of a pastor, Franklin and her sisters discovered their love for music after becoming gospel singers.
Despite becoming pregnant at the age of 12, Franklin still pursued a career in music, teaching herself to play the piano and touring with black rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. to sing during his appearances.
Her ticket to fame came when she was discovered by singer Sam Cook, who inspired her to pursue commercial success.
She signed with Columbia Records in 1960 but moved to Altantic Record six years later. It was during her time with Atlantic that she found commercial success after her debut album “I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You” went gold in 1968.
In 1968, Franklin won the Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, the first of 18 Grammy Awards in her career.
Even as her career began to take a backseat, she continued to reap awards. In 1987, Franklin became the first woman to be inducted in the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
She was also named as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time by Rolling Stone Magazine and won many honorary doctorates in art and music.
Many commend her for opening the doors to black and female performers, a demographic that struggled for commercial recognition in the 1960s and 1970s.
Among her most memorable songs are her cover of Otis Redding’s “Respect,” which became an anthem for the civil rights and feminist movements, the love ballads “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “I Say a Little Prayer” and post-heartbreak hits “Chain of Fools” and “Until You Come Back To Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do).”