Close Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, has died
Date TimeAugust 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, has died

VoiceAretha Franklin, whose gospel-rooted singing and bluesy yet expansive delivery earned her the title "the Queen of Soul," has died, a family statement said Thursday. She was 76.

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 "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.
Tributes and tears flooded in Thursday after news of her death broke.
"Aretha helped define the American experience," former President Barack Obama said in a statement. "In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade -- our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace."
Tributes pour in for 'Queen of Soul' Aretha Franklin
Legendary soul singer and Franklin's friend of more than sixty years, Sam Moore, had words of sorrow and comfort to offer.
"I adored her and I know the feelings were mutual. While I'm heartbroken that she's gone I know she's in the Lord's arms and she's not in pain or suffering anymore from the damn cancer that took her away from us," he said in a statement. "I'm going to hope, pray and count on the fact that I will see her again sometime. Rest in the Lord's arms in love, Re."
Franklin's fans paid tribute with flowers and a crown left on her Hollywood Walk of Fame star in Los Angeles.
Her death comes three days after a source close to Franklin told CNN's Don Lemon that the singer was in hospice care.
Aretha Franklin in photos
"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," Franklin's family said.
"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."
Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days, the statement said.
How Aretha energized social movements
The singer had been reported to be in failing health for years and appeared frail in recent photos, but she kept her struggles private.
In February 2017, Franklin announced she would stop touring, but she continued to book concerts. Earlier this year, she canceled a pair of performances, including at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, on doctor's orders, according to Rolling Stone.
The singer's final public performance was last November, when she sang at an Elton John AIDS Foundation gala in New York.

Sing it: R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Over the course of a professional career that spanned more than half a century, Franklin's songs not only topped the charts but became part of the vernacular.
She made "Respect," written by Otis Redding, a call to arms. "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," a Carole King song, was an earthy expression of sexuality. "Think," which she wrote with her then-husband, Ted White, became a rallying cry for women fed up with loutish men.
The first woman admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she had 88 Billboard chart hits during the rock era, tops among female vocalists. At the peak of her career -- from 1967 to 1975 -- she had more than two dozen Top 40 hits.
"Aretha Franklin is not only the definitive female soul singer of the Sixties," according to her Rolling Stone biography, "she's also one of the most influential and important voices in pop history."
She won 18 Grammy awards, including the honor for best female R&B performance for eight straight years.
There was nothing run-of-the-mill about a Franklin performance. "I Never Loved a Man (the Way I Love You)" is slinky and gritty, Franklin's voice sometimes a whisper over Spooner Oldham's electric piano.
"The House That Jack Built" fairly crackles: "I got the house / I got the car / I got the rug / And I got the rack / But I ain't got Jack," Franklin belts.
In Franklin's delivery, "Eleanor Rigby" was a figure of defiance; with Franklin's voice, "Bridge Over Troubled Water" went places not even Art Garfunkel, whose angelic tenor dominated Simon & Garfunkel's original version, could take it.
Her soul was as deep as her voice was strong.
"I think of Aretha as 'Our Lady of Mysterious Sorrows,'" wrote the late Jerry Wexler, Franklin's producer at Atlantic Records. "Her eyes are incredible, luminous eyes covering inexplicable pain. Her depressions could be as deep as the dark sea. I don't pretend to know the sources of her anguish, but anguish surrounds Aretha as surely as the glory of her musical aura."
Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, has died
A recording career at 14
Perhaps more than any other soul star, Franklin's voice embodied the music's debt to gospel.
She was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1942, but was raised mostly in Detroit, where her father, C.L. Franklin, was a prominent minister and a nationally known gospel singer. Franklin sang in the choir of her father's church and, though she declined her dad's offer of piano lessons and taught herself instead, began recording gospel music at age 14.
She toured the gospel circuit with her father, befriending stars such as Mahalia Jackson and Sam Cooke. She later performed at Jackson's funeral.
She was signed to Columbia Records in 1960 by John Hammond, the eagle-eyed talent scout who also discovered Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, but she had only limited success at the label. It wasn't until her arrival at Atlantic Records in the decade's second half that she gave up trying to become a polished all-purpose entertainer for a career as a soul and R&B singer, backed by an earthy rhythm section from Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
"The backup musicians provided a much grittier, soulful and R&B-based accompaniment for Aretha's voice," according to the All Music Guide, "which soared with a passion and intensity suggesting a spirit that had been allowed to fly loose for the first time."
Over a year-and-a-half stretch from 1967 to 1968, Franklin racked up 10 Top Ten hits.
"It had looked for the longest time like I would never have a gold record," she told Time magazine in 1968. "I wanted one so bad."
Songs like "Respect" were not only huge sellers, they were also adopted by African-Americans and feminists as anthems for social change.
Civil rights icon and US Rep. John Lewis recalled Franklin's "unwavering" commitment to the movement.
"What made her talent so great was her capacity to live what she sang," Franklin said in a statement Thursday. "Her music was deepened by her connection to the struggles and the triumphs of the African American experience growing up in her father's church, the community of Detroit, and her awareness of the turmoil of the South."
After Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, Franklin sang at his funeral.
The hits kept coming throughout the early 1970s, including "Spanish Harlem" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water."
By the late '70s, Franklin's star power began to wane, as the golden age of soul ended and as critics and fans became less enthusiastic about her continuing output. However, she re-emerged in the 1980s, releasing the 1985 album "Who's Zoomin' Who?", which spawned the hit "Freeway of Love."
She also collaborated with the Eurythmics on "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves" and British pop star George Michael on the smash duet, "I Knew You Were Waiting (for Me)." The latter hit No. 1, her last chart-topper.
"Don't say Aretha is making a comeback," she said at the time. "Who's Zoomin' Who" was released, she said, "because I've never been away."

Personal pain lent depth to her music
Franklin's reportedly tumultuous personal life, meanwhile -- she was twice divorced and had brushes with the law -- was shrouded in secrecy.
She was the mother of four sons -- she gave birth to the first at 15 and the second at 17, according to a 1995 Ebony magazine profile. The article depicted her as a warm, down-to-earth woman with a crackling sense of humor, who answered the door in bare feet and confided her diet secret was a combination of Slim-Fast and younger men. She also was reportedly an accomplished cook, telling Ebony, "I can wear some chitlins out."
The Ebony profile suggested the source of some of that pain might have been Franklin's growing up largely without a mother -- Barbara Franklin left the family in 1948, when Franklin was 6, and died four years later -- or the anguish of losing her father.
C.L. Franklin was shot in his home by burglars in 1979 and lived for five years in a semi-coma before dying, the magazine said. Asked the toughest decision she ever had to make, Franklin told Ebony, "It was when my dad was in the hospital," and began to cry.
But Franklin's lows and the emotion involved fueled her music. She saw a number of resurgences in the past three decades and her image as a pop icon endured, with President Barack Obama featuring her singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" at his inauguration in 2009. She also performed at President Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1992.
Franklin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2005. In 1986, her voice was declared a national resource by the Michigan Legislature. She even had an asteroid named for her.
"She looks rested and relaxed, like a housewife headed out to do some shopping at the local K-Mart," Ebony reporter Laura Randolph wrote in the 1995 profile. "There, or at the Woolworth's Five and Dime where, she recalls, she's spent many an afternoon 'browsing and buying knick-knacks' then 'sitting down at the counter to a scrumptious turkey and dressing plate with mashed potatoes oozing with gravy and loving it.' "

Health issues derailed her late career
Franklin battled health issues in recent years, struggling with weight gain and associated ailments.
In August 2010, she canceled two free concerts in New York because of "fractured ribs and pain in the abdomen," spokeswoman Gwendolyn Quinn said, adding that Franklin's doctors had told her to come in for tests immediately.
That November, her doctors ordered her to cancel all personal appearances for the next six months, the Detroit Free Press reported. In early December, Franklin underwent surgery deemed "highly successful."
She also canceled some appearances in 2013.
However, she recovered enough to return to touring in 2014, including a performance at New York's Radio City Music Hall. She'd also lost almost 100 pounds.
"It's fun buying new clothes!" she told USA Today. "I couldn't stay out of the mirror, just turning every way. This is my natural weight."
As for her old wardrobe? The shopper knew exactly what to do with those outfits.
"I'm thinking of giving them to a resale shop," Franklin said.
Her final album, "A Brand New Me," paired Franklin's original recordings of some of her greatest hits with modern musical arrangements from London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
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Harry Reid: Trump Is 'The Worst President We've Ever Had'
Mitt Romney: Trump's biggest failure is a lack of character in leading 'divided' nation
Greggs launches vegan sausage roll
Christian Pulisic joins Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund for £58m
Kate Middleton Reportedly Waited Until Meghan Markle Left Before Joining Royal Family Hunt
Volunteers Prepare Flower-Decked Floats for Rose Parade
Dry January might be bad for your health
Why Trump Reigns as King Cyrus
Jamie Vardy punishes dismal Everton as Leicester start new year in winning style
Tokyo car attack: Driver hits New Year's revelers in city's Harajuku district
Hubble telescope 'mother' Nancy Grace Roman dies
Comedian Louis C.K. mocks Parkland shooting survivors in leaked audio
U.S. Citizen Arrested In Moscow On Suspicion Of Spying
NFL coaching picture: Dirk Koetter, Todd Bowles fired; Dolphins’ Adam Gase awaits his fate
Elizabeth Warren announces 2020 run for president against Trump
Peter Thompson, former Liverpool and England winger, dies aged 76
Is Selena Gomez Sending Cryptic Messages With Her Graphic T-Shirts?
Bre Payton, 26-year-old conservative writer, dies following sudden illness
Gavin and Stacey actor Mathew Horne 'hit by train after night out'
John Kelly blames Jeff Sessions for 'zero tolerance,' family separations along border
Rashford learns from master at Solskjaer's finishing school
'Bird Box,' starring Sandra Bullock sets new Netflix viewing record in its first week
A Vegas star is born: Lady Gaga stuns, soars in Sin City debut
Sears Holdings announced another round of store closures
Mega Millions jackpot grows -- with next drawing on New Year's Day
Ryan Jack gives Rangers deserved Old Firm victory over Celtic
Alastair Cook knighted, Gareth Southgate, Harry Kane awarded in New Year’s honours
Kim and Kanye buying $14M luxury condo in Miami
Kevin Spacey ‘Let Me Be Frank’ YouTube Video Tops 8 Million Views In 3 Days
Tesla names Larry Ellison and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson to board after SEC settlement
Angelina Jolie open to move into politics
HMV Administration: Thousands Of Jobs At Risk As Retailer Collapses For Second Time In Six Years
KTLA anchor Chris Burrous dies at 43
Instagram update 2018: What is the new Instagram update, is it coming back?
Nationwide internet outage hits CenturyLink customers
Israeli novelist Amos Oz dies aged 79
'Black Mirror: Bandersnatch': Here's What Critics And Fans Are Saying About The New Game-Changing Episode
NASA wants you to celebrate New Years with its New Horizons space probe
Kim Kardashian slammed over North West's lipstick
Putin Says 'Invulnerable' New Hypersonic Nuclear Missile Is Ready For Deployment
Miley Cyrus confirms secret wedding to Liam Hemsworth
Secret new ‘Black Mirror’ movie now has a trailer, release date
Ariana Grande FaceTimes With Her Estranged Father on Christmas
Box Office: 'Aquaman' Hits $106M; 'Holmes & Watson' Gets D+ CinemaScore
How your holiday travel plans will be impacted by the partial federal government shutdown
Liverpool goes six points clear in EPL as Man City loses at Leicester
Russia: Hole drilled from inside Int'l Space Station capsule
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry join Kate Middleton, Prince William for Christmas Day service amid feud rumors
Kendall Jenner Has A Hilarious Response To Being Left Out Of Kardashian Christmas Card
Trump asks 7-year-old, 'Are you still a believer in Santa?'
Us trailer: How to watch the trailer for Jordan Peele's new horror movie
SpaceX closes out year with successful GPS satellite launch
Pete Davidson gets VIP treatment at Machine Gun Kelly concert a week after disturbing post
Miley Cyrus Sent Ariana Grande the Sweetest Text After Her Split from Pete Davidson
Kourtney Kardashian And Sofia Richie Look Like They're Best Friends On Christmas Vacation Together (PHOTOS)
Stocks plummet after Steven Mnuchin's odd statement fails to calm markets
Box Office: 'Aquaman' Opens to $67M; 'Mary Poppins' Edges Past 'Bumblebee'
Rihanna Gives Fans An Album Update
President Trump not going to change mind on Syria, even after resignations: Mulvaney
Carl Frampton not ready to make a hasty decision on his boxing future
Drone footage shows damage caused by Indonesian tsunami – video
Christmas mail? Sure. But, also, Happy Festivus!
Watch SpaceX launch its final Falcon 9 rocket of the year for the Air Force
LadBaby scores 2018 Christmas No 1 with ode to sausage rolls
Patrick Frazee, the fiancé of missing Colorado mom Kelsey Berreth, is arrested and booked in her murder
'Bird Box' is 'scary-ish': What critics say about Sandra Bullock's blindfolded Netflix drama
Mars: Pictures reveal 'winter wonderland' on the red planet
Elon Musk is the first influencer CEO
Michelle Obama wears $4K thigh-high Balenciaga glitter boots on book tour
Dr. Drew Says Pete Davidson Must Avoid Ariana Grande Because His Life Depends on It
Hold up, Beyonce did not release new music
Andy Cohen reveals he’s welcoming a baby via surrogate
Winter solstice 2018 coincides with full Moon, meteor shower: Everything you need to know
Barack Obama Delights Children As Santa In Surprise Visit To Hospital
Paris Hilton keeping 20-carat engagement ring
Rachel McAdams went haute couture with a breast pump
Wounded Warrior's GoFundMe Page For Border Wall at $3.9 Million So Far
New England Patriots receiver Josh Gordon says he is stepping away to focus on mental health
Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson Suit Up in ‘Men in Black International’ First Trailer
Vladimir Putin tells Theresa May to 'fulfil will of people' on Brexit
Gatwick flights remain suspended as drones reappear over runway
Ariana Grande recreates ‘Saturday Night Live’ Christmas sketch days after ex Pete Davidson's alarming post
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