Rest in peace, Aretha Franklin. The “Queen of Soul” died on Thursday, Aug. 16 at age 76 following her years-long battle with an undisclosed type of cancer.
TMZ has reported that the music icon was surrounded by her family and friends in her Detriot home at the time of her passing.
“It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Aretha Louise Franklin, the Queen of Soul, in a statement issued by Franklin’s family through her longtime publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn.
Franklin, 76 years old, passed away on Thursday morning, August 16 at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit, MI, surrounded by family and loved ones. Franklin’s official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin’s Oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, MI.
“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.”
“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.”
David Shepardson, the mayor of Detroit, also confirmed the news in a statement. Read the statement below.
Detroit mayor confirms death of Aretha Franklin pic.twitter.com/cx0cp1N3N5
— David Shepardson (@davidshepardson) August 16, 2018
This unfortunate news comes just a few days after RadarOnline confirmed the 76-year-old was “gravely ill” in Detroit. Showbiz 411 had also reported that her family was “asking for prayers and privacy” during the difficult time. She was previously on hospice care as well.
Aretha — who is known for hits including “Respect” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” — won 18 Grammys throughout her career and was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Her last performance was in November 2017 at the Elton John AIDS Foundation 25th anniversary gala, where she noticeably lost a considerable amount of weight. Aretha’s 42nd and final album, A Brand New Me, was released that same month.
Earlier in 2017, Aretha had revealed she planned to retire by the end of that year. “This will be my last year,” she told Local 4’s Evrod Cassimy in February 2017. “I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it.”
She added at the time, “I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from, and where it is now. I’ll be pretty much satisfied, but I’m not going to go anywhere and just sit down and do nothing. That wouldn’t be good either.”
Aretha is survived by her four sons. We will miss her terribly…
Our thoughts are with her family and friends during this difficult time.