Aretha Franklin, the undisputed “Queen of Soul” who sang with matchless style on such classics as “Think,” ″I Say a Little Prayer” and her signature song, “Respect,” and stood as a cultural icon around the globe, has died at age 76 from pancreatic cancer.
Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn tells The Associated Press through a family statement that Franklin died Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit. The statement said “Franklin’s 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 added: “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.”
The statement continued:
“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.
Franklin, who had battled undisclosed health issues in recent years, had in 2017 announced her retirement from touring.
Source: AP News
Aretha was married twice. She first married Theodore “Ted” White in 1961 at age 19, they separated in 1968; later divorcing in 1969. Aretha then married her second husband, actor Glynn Turman, on 11th April, 1978 at her father’s church.
Aretha was the mother of four sons. She first became pregnant at the age of 12 and gave birth to her first child, named Clarence after her father, on the 28th January, 1955. The father of the child was Donald Burk, a boy she knew from school. On 22nd January, 1957, then aged 14, Franklin had a second child, named Edward after his father Edward Jordan. Both of her children took her family name.
While Aretha was pursuing her career and “hanging out with [friends]”, Franklin’s grandmother Rachel and sister Erma took turns raising the children. Aretha’s third child, Ted White Jr., was born in February 1964 and is known professionally as Teddy Richards. He has provided guitar backing for his mother’s band during live concerts. Her youngest son, Kecalf Cunningham born 28th March, 1970), is the child of her road manager Ken Cunningham.
Aretha as 44 Grammy nominations and 18 wins.
She has two honorary doctorates of music, from Berklee College of Music and Yale University.
In addition to receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, she has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame, and the Apollo Theater Legends Walk of Fame.
Has performed at the inaugural events of three US presidents: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
Follow @RealityWives for Reality Television Wives, TV, Movies, stars, pop culture, everything ..
— Reality Wives (@RealityWives) October 29, 2012