Aretha Franklin Dies: Pancreatic Cancer Claims Life of “Queen of Soul”


By Victor Trammell and Nomalanga Mhauli-Moses

Photo credits: Getty Images

One of America’s most revered black women in music history finally succumbed to a terminal illness in her hometown of Detroit, Michigan surrounded by family members and other close loved ones.

CNN News reported on Thursday (August 16) that Aretha Franklin (pictured) was declared dead just before 10 a.m. in the morning of the day the national media outlet’s report was published online. In the weeks prior to CNN’s official report, other news sources claimed that Franklin was “gravely ill” and in hospice care.

A written statement prepared by the family of America’s “Queen of Soul” was released to get the message out about how their matriarch’s passing has affected loved ones, as well as the lives of all those she has touched over the course of her decades-long singing and performing career. The statement partially reads as follows:

“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. 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.”

Final memorial services for Franklin will be announced in a matter of days, according to her family’s official statement. The “Respect” performer was 76-years-old when she died. Franklin’s cause of death has been confirmed as the advanced, neuroendocrine type of pancreatic cancer. Watch a video about her life, passing, and impact below.

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