This is just heartbreaking. Legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin has reportedly passed away at the age of 76, in her hometown of Detroit.
It’s a sad day for the music world. Aretha Franklin has passed away at home in her native Detroit at the age of 76 after suffering a long battle with cancer, according to TMZ. Aretha had reportedly been undergoing hospice care at her home for the last several months, and TMZ reports that she shockingly weighed only 86 pounds at the time of her death. The soul music songstress made her mark as a music icon after winning a total of 18 Grammy Awards throughout her carer, and being chosen as the first female musician to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
Aretha’s family provided a heartbreaking statement soon after her passing. “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. ‘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,” they said.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Aretha’s earliest days of singing took place at the local church of her father, Reverend C.L. Franklin, in the 1950s. By the time she was 14-years-old, she had laid down her first recordings as a gospel artist, and not long after, inked her first record deal with Columbia. Eventually, Aretha left Columbia to sign with Atlantic, where she really came into her own as an artist. By the late ’60s, Aretha became one of the biggest international recording artists of her time, putting out ten top ten hits in a roughly 18-month span between early 1967 and late 1968.
There are few who would not recognize Aretha’s iconic voice, and memorable hits. The singer has penned numerous charting singles such as “Respect,” “I Never Loved a Man,” “Chain of Fools,” “Baby I Love You,” and “I Say a Little Prayer.” She is also one of most commercially successful artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide, and Rolling Stone even slotted her at No.1, on their list of “The Greatest Singers Of All Time.” Aretha was the recipient of the U.S.A.’s highest civilian honor, The Presidential Medal Of Freedom, back in 2005. On year earlier, she started her own record label, Aretha’s Records.
Aretha’s health had been declining for some time, following numerous medical procedures, and her rumored battle with cancer. The mother of four announced her retirement in 2017, as live performances began to prove difficult for her. The legendary vocalist gave her last performance in November of 2017, at Elton John’s AIDs Foundation concert in New York City. Fans of the artist can find peace knowing that Aretha felt very fulfilled by her long and successful career. “I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now,” she said at the time.