Sports

Aretha Franklin, "Queen of Soul", Dead at 76

Aretha Franklin,

The singer tweeted, "I am deeply saddened about the passing of the Queen of Soul and my sister in song, Aretha Franklin".

When the death of Aretha Franklin was announced on Thursday morning, one USA president paid tribute to a voice that offered "a glimpse of the divine", in which Americans could feel "our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect". According to a family statement given to the Associated Press, "Franklin's official cause of death was due to advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type". "The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds", the family said.

She influenced generations of female singers with unforgettable hits including "Respect" (1967), "Natural Woman" (1968) and "I Say a Little Prayer" (1968). Music legends like Chaka Khan gave Aretha a run for her money and shared the limelight that the soul queen had enjoyed alone for several years.

However, at no time during that performance did LaBelle and Franklin share the stage.

A statement from Franklin's family, via the singer's long-time publicist Gwendolyn Quinn, said that she died "surrounded by family and loved ones".

Elton John memorialized his "favourite pianist" in a series of notes shared on Twitter: 'The loss of @ArethaFranklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church.

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US President Donald Trump expressed his condolences to the family of, "a person I knew well - she worked for me on numerous occasions, she was terrific".

She sang at the inaugurations of presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" at the investiture of the country's first African-American head of state. She was 76 years old. "As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this hard time". The whole world will miss her but will always rejoice in her remarkable legacy.

The movie studio actually wanted a newer contemporary act, such as the band Rose Royce, in place of Franklin; "the creatives" behind the movie refused to budge, Vanity Fair reported.

Franklin, who received a Kennedy Center honor in 1994, was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, in 1987.

The star was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honour, by former President George W Bush in 2005. "But, I describe her as the greatest American singer of the 20th century, in part because of her mastery of multi-genres". But she garnered renewed attention after appearing in the 1980 musical comedy film The Blues Brothers.


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