Aretha Franklin, The Queen Of Soul Dies At 76
Award-winning songstress and the undisputed “Queen of Soul”, Aretha Franklin died at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit, surrounded by family and friends, according to a statement on behalf of Franklin’s family from her longtime publicist Gwendolyn Quinn.
The singer had been reported to be in failing health for years and appeared frail in recent photos, but she kept her struggles private.
The “official cause of death was due to advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin’s oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit,” the family statement said.
The 76-year-old “Queen of Soul” is being visited by people close to her who are reading messages from friends and loved ones, holding her hand.
Stevie Wonder and her ex-husband Glynn Turman paid the singer a visit, Franklin’s publicist Gwendolyn Quinn told CNN. Rev. Jesse Jackson will visit her on Wednesday, Quinn said.
Social media has also been flooded with tributes to Franklin including one by Al Sharpton.
According to Billboard.com, Sharpton breaks down that Aretha was not just an icon in music, she was that much more a humanitarian and activist behind the scenes that nobody knew.
“Franklin had a remarkable career in music and entertainment: 44 Grammy nominations and 18 wins; performances at the inaugurations of Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama; and countless hits like “Respect” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” that cut across all racial, economic and social barriers to resonate with audiences globally,” explains Sharpton. “But what most do not realize is that the Queen of Soul dedicated much of her time and money to advancing civil rights and human rights. There are superstars, and then there are humanitarians — Aretha somehow encapsulated both.”
“In the 1960s, when the revered Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was facing significant hurdles and some financial challenges, Aretha teamed up with another musical and philanthropic icon, Harry Belafonte, and toured cities doing fundraising concerts for Dr. King. Such selfless actions wouldn’t appear unusual if you knew that her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin, was the most prolific black minister of a generation, a close friend and co-activist with Dr. King and the one who spearheaded the massive Detroit March for Justice (which led to the historic March on Washington in August of 1963).”
“Aretha Franklin’s 1972 Live Album ‘Amazing Grace’ Captured The Queen at the Height of Her Powers
After Dr. King was assassinated, Aretha was a big supporter of Mrs. King, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the generation that followed — all the way to my generation of the “no justice, no peace” movement. Constantly sending checks, vocalizing her support and remaining dedicated to uplifting her community and fighting for equality throughout the years.”
The family is coming to grips with their loss, but they expressed just how good it feels to be lifted up by the outpouring of prayers and support for their beloved sister, cousin, friend and family member.
“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…