The world today mourns the passing of legendary soul singer, Aretha Franklin. The 76-year-old American performer passed away earlier today following her battle with cancer. She had been diagnosed in 2010 and last year announced that she would be retiring from music.
Known for hits like “Respect” and “Think”, Franklin was the recipient of 18 Grammy awards and had 17 Top Ten US chart hits over a music career spanning seven decades.
In a statement, her family 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.”
The family also confirmed her death was due to advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type.
Former President Barack Obama, whose inauguration she performed at, released an emotive statement with his wife Michelle saying Franklin’s music “helped define the American Experience”.