The Queen of Soul has left the stage.
Legendary singer Aretha Franklin died Thursday at age 76, surrounded by close friends and family in Detroit, Michigan. Known as one of the giants of American pop music, she is best remembered for an incredible run of hits for Atlantic Records in the ’60s, including “Respect,” “Chain of Fools,” and “I Say a Little Prayer.”
A pivotal figure in the 20th century cultural and political landscape, she performed at both the funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the inauguration of Barack Obama. She won 18 Grammy awards, topped countless charts, and was also the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Her family released the following statement immediately after her death:
“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 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’s last public performance was in November 2017 for the 25th anniversary gala of Elton John’s AIDS Foundation.
This is a developing story. It will be updated.