Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, Dead at 76
- American singer-songwriter, “The Queen of Soul”, Aretha Franklin has died in Detroit at the age of 76.
The legendary singer was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and announced last year she was retiring from music.
The family confirmed her death was due to advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type.
In a statement, her family said: "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."
Aretha Franklin had more than 20 US number ones over a career spanning seven decades.
She gave her final performance last November at a gala in New York held in aid of the Elton John Aids Foundation.
Sir Elton John led the tributes on his Instagram: "The loss of Aretha Franklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music. Music from the heart, the soul and the church. Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated... I adored her and worshipped her talent. God bless her. My condolences to all her family and friends."
- She began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit.
Her first recording was for Columbia Records in 1960, at the age of 18. In 1967, she signed to Atlantic Records and achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as "Respect", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman", "Spanish Harlem" and "Think". By the end of the 1960s she had gained the title "The Queen of Soul".
She moved to Arista Records from Atlantic Records in 1979.
She recorded a total of 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and 20 number-one R&B singles.
She has won a total of 18 Grammy Awards and is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide.
Aretha Franklin was induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, in which she became the first female performer to be inducted. She was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012.
- source : Rolling Stone