Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, has died, a family statement said Thursday. She was 76.
Franklin died at 9:50 a.m. on Thursday August 16, at her home in Detroit, surrounded by family and friends, according to a statement on behalf of Franklin’s family from her longtime publicist Gwendolyn Quinn.
Her death comes three days after a source close to Franklin confirmed that she was in hospice care.
The “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 statement 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,” Franklin’s family said.
“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.”
In February 2017, Franklin announced she would stop touring but continued to book concerts. Earlier this year, she canceled a performance at the New Orleans Jazz Fest.
The singer’s final public performance was last November, when she sang at an Elton John AIDS Foundation gala in New York.
Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days, the statement said.
President Barack Obama said in a statement, “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.”
Soul singer and Franklin’s friend of more than sixty years, Sam Moore, said, “I adored her and I know the feelings were mutual. While I’m heartbroken that she’s gone I know she’s in the Lord’s arms and she’s not in pain or suffering anymore from the damn cancer that took her away from us. I’m going to hope, pray and count on the fact that I will see her again sometime.”
Franklin was first woman admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.