Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, is dead as reported by a family statement on Thursday. It is a life celebration for Aretha, whose gospel-rooted singing and expansive delivery had earned her the title “Queen of Soul.”
Aretha’s death has thrown the entertainment industry and the world at large into deep mourning. Aretha, whose personal life was reported to be tumultuous was divorced on two occasions and had a brush with the law, died at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit surrounded by family and friends.
The cause of death was reported to be advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by her oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit,” read the family statement.
A mother of four sons; she gave birth to the first at while 15years old and the second at 17 years of age according to a 1995 Ebony magazine profile. The published article presented her as a warm and down-to-earth with an incredible sense of humor, who answered the door in bare feet and revealed her diet secret as a combination of Slim-Fast and younger men.
The article revealed the source of some of Aretha’s anguish might have been growing up without a mother and a father as her mother, Barbara Franklin, had left the family in 1948, when Franklin was 6 and died four years later or the anguish of losing her father, C.L. Franklin, who was shot in his home by burglars in 1979, lived for five years in a semi-coma before dying, according to the magazine.
Aretha’s life challenges fueled her music greatly given her great voice. She featured the then President Barack Obama in her singing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” at his inauguration back in 2009 and also performed at Bill Clinton’s inauguration.
Messages of condolence and goodwill continue to stream on social platforms and to her family as the world celebrates a life well lived, below are a number of tributes:
@BarackObama Aretha helped define the American experience. 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.
@realDonaldTrump The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, is dead. She was a great woman, with a wonderful gift from God, her voice. She will be missed!
@MichelleObama Watching Aretha Franklin perform at the White House, and on so many other occasions, made time stand still. @BarackObama and I are holding Aretha’s family in our hearts right now. She will forever be our Queen of Soul.