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‘Queen Of Soul’ Aretha Franklin Dead At 76 After Battle With Pancreatic Cancer

The soul music legend died at her home in Detroit on Thursday morning, her publicist confirmed.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

Music icon Aretha Franklin has died following a battle with advanced pancreatic cancer. She was 76.

Gwendolyn Quinn, Franklin’s publicist, officially confirmed the soul singer's death in a statement to the Associated Press, revealing that Franklin died at her home in Detroit on Thursday morning.

“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,” Quinn's statement reads.

Franklin’s death comes days after reports that the Queen of Soul was “gravely ill” and surrounded by her loved ones. While her illness had not yet been confirmed, the “Respect” singer canceled two performances in March after a physician ordered her to rest.

“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,” Franklin's family said in the statement.

Icons from the music and entertainment world and beyond took to social media to pay their respects to the soul legend. 

"Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, Aretha helped define the American experience," wrote Barack Obama, captioning a photo he posted on Instagram of Franklin's historic performance at his first inauguration in 2009. "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."

In a tweet accompanying an old photo of him and Franklin posing for the camera, legendary producer Quincy Jones said, "Aretha Franklin set the bar & she did it with the professionalism, class, grace, & humility that only a true Queen could..."

Fellow singer Barbara Streisand also took to Twitter to share an old photo and some kind words about her contemporary. "It’s difficult to conceive of a world without her," Streisand wrote. "Not only was she a uniquely brilliant singer, but her commitment to civil rights made an indelible impact on the world."

Details on the soul-singing legend's funeral arrangements will be released soon, AP reports.

Franklin was a pioneer across several genres, and she leaves behind an unmatched musical legacy. A shortlist of her considerable career achievements include 18 Grammys, distinction as the first female artist inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, awarded to her by George W. Bush in 2005.

[Photo: Aretha Franklin in 2015. Mark Sagliocco/FilmMagic, via Getty Images]

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