Born in 1942, Aretha Franklin went on to earn the title ‘The Queen of Soul’ for her services to music since the late ’60s. Having signed to Atlantic Records in 1967, she achieved huge success with songs including ‘Spanish Harlem’, ‘I Say a Little Prayer’ and ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.’
She first sang as part of a gospel at a Detroit church where her father, C.L, was the pastor before embarking upon a full-time career in 1960. Franklin cared for C.L. after he was shot twice at point blank range in his Detroit home in 1979 right up until his death in 1984.
Her representative, Gwendolyn Quinn, said she died on Thursday. The cause was advanced pancreatic cancer.
One of the world’s best-known soul singers, she is understood to have passed away at her home in Detroit, Michigan. She had cancelled recent shows due to ill health and was later reported to be seriously ill.
Franklin, who was ranked by Rolling Stone as the greatest singer of all time, was one of the most honoured singers of the 20th century and 21st century.