Aretha Franklin - the "Queen of Soul" who performed for multiple presidents and was one of the best-selling musicians of the 20th century - has died.
The young Franklin would accompany her father on the road as he and other singers toured churches - moves that eventually led to her releasing gospel records herself.
The legendary performer, a mother of four, became an 18-time Grammy Award victor during a career spanning more than six decades.
The singer's representative, Gwendolyn Quinn, said the cause of her death was advanced pancreatic cancer, AP reports.
Before her death, well wishes poured in for Franklin, who won 18 Grammy awards in total. "We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family", the statement added. On Monday night, Beyonce reacted to the news by dedicating herDetroit concert with husband Jay-Z to Franklin. President George Bush awarded herthe Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.
A Civil Rights icon in her own way she sang at the memorial service for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and would later do so for Rosa Parks Franklin proudly transcended racial and cultural barriers in her music.
Her father was shot in a robbery in 1979 and spent five years in a coma before dying at the age of 69 in 1984. "The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds".
Franklin underwent surgery for an unspecified illness, reported to be pancreatic cancer, in December 2010 and was frequently ill, while keeping a regular concert schedule, in the years since.
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However, it was not until a decade later until she had her first major hit when 'I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)' became her first single to crack the Billboard top 10.
Mayor of Detroit Mike Duggan also issued a statement saying: "We are all deeply saddened that Aretha has passed". "She found success in 1967 when she signed with Atlanta Records and released songs like "Respect", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and "Think".
Franklin often altered the context of the existing lyric through her inflection and emphasis or by introducing call and answer interplay with her background singers.
And pay her the respect that both the song and her life demanded. Her cover of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" also rose to #47 on the charts in 2014.
She was married twice - her first was to former manager Ted White (1961-1969).
Franklin performed at President Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration Ceremony in 2009. I'll be pretty much satisfied, but I'm not going to go anywhere and just sit down and do nothing.
She was originally scheduled to perform on her 76th birthday in March in Newark, New Jersey, and at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in April.
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