Aretha Franklin dead: Queen of Soul passes away at age 76

Esequiel Farfan
Agosto 16, 2018

Born in Memphis but raised in Detroit, Franklin began singing in church as a youngster - her father was a Baptist minister - and during her lifetime crossed multiple music lines.

Reports recently emerged the Queen of Soul was "gravely ill" in Detroit, nine months after her last public performance at the Elton John AIDS Foundation gala in NY.

'We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. Two decades years later she was back to pay tribute to Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records. Though she began singing professionally in the early 1960s, it was in 1967 that her musical career took off, after she signed with Atlantic Records.

This shot from January 1993 sees her joined by Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Diana Ross as they celebrate the inauguration of President Bill Clinton in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

At one of Franklin's last public performances, in June 2017, she closed out a free concert in her hometown of Detroit with the message: "God bless you, God keep you, keep me in your prayers". In subsequent months, she canceled scheduled performances in Boston and Toronto with management again saying that her doctors had told her to "stay off the road and rest completely".

Franklin was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1987 - a year before the Beatles were inducted. "Before that decade was over, she had released such songs as "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman", "Think" and "Respect", which went on to become classics.

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She had not performed publicly since Elton John's annual AIDS benefit gala in November 2017. "This is it." Franklin said she wanted to spend more time with her grandchildren. Amid rumours of infidelity, her parents separated in 1948 and her mother moved to Buffalo with a son from a previous relationship.

By 18, she had signed with Columbia Records and moved to NY, where her talents quickly brought her fame - and a title.

She was managed by Ted White, a man she married in 1961 at the age of 19 and had another child with three years later. I will be recording, but this will be my previous year in concert.

The cause was advanced pancreatic cancer.

Two years later, she maintained her reputation, in the United Kingdom especially, with the George Michael duet I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) - probably her biggest worldwide hit.

Franklin appeared on the cover of TIME in 1968, with a story that commended the "fierce, gritty conviction" of her voice.

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