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Aretha Franklin dies at 76

Aretha Franklin in 2009/Wikimedia Commons

DETROIT - Aretha Franklin, the "Queen of Soul" died of pancreatic cancer, Thursday morning at the age of 76, according to her representative, Gwendolyn Quinn. 

Known for hits such as "Respect", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman", and "Think", Aretha Franklin became one the best-selling musical artists of all time. Throughout her career spanning over five decades, Franklin sold over 75 million records worldwide and won 18 Grammy Awards. Franklin also became the first female performer to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

“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,” Franklin's family said in a statement.

“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.”

Funeral arrangements for the late Queen of Soul are forthcoming. 

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