Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin has died aged 76

Soul singer Aretha Franklin has died aged 76, her publicist has said.Â

Thursday, 16th August 2018, 4:23 pm
Updated Sunday, 2nd September 2018, 10:08 pm
Soul singer Aretha Franklin has died. Picture: AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File

The long-reigning "Queen of Soul" who sang with matchless style on such classics as Think and her signature song, Respect, died at her home in Detroit.

She had been suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer, her representative Gwendolyn Quinn said.

A 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.

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'˜We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family.'

Sir Elton John has paid tribute to Aretha this afternoon. 

Sir Elton posted on 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 - she was one of my favourite pianists. I was fortunate enough to spend time with her and witness her last performance - a benefit for the Elton John Aids Foundation at St John The Divine Cathedral.

'˜She was obviously unwell, and I wasn't sure she could perform. But Aretha did and she raised the roof. She sang and played magnificently, and we all wept. We were witnessing the greatest soul artist of all time. I adored her and worshipped her talent. God bless her.

'˜My condolences to all her family and friends. We shared the same birthday - and that meant so much to me. The whole world will miss her but will always rejoice in her remarkable legacy. The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen.' 

Liam Gallagher tweeted: '˜RIP Aretha Franklin what a voice x'.

Singer John Legend wrote: '˜Salute to the Queen. The greatest vocalist I've ever known. #Aretha.'