Aretha Franklin dies at 76

Aretha Franklin

Franklin collaborated with such pop and soul artists as Luther Vandross, Elton John, Whitney Houston and George Michael, with whom she recorded a No. 1 single, "I Knew You Were Waiting (for Me)".

The singer tweeted, "I am deeply saddened about the passing of the Queen of Soul and my sister in song, Aretha Franklin". "We sincerely apologize to Aretha Franklin's family and friends", the network said in a statement. "The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds".

He continued, more warmly: "She's brought joy to millions of lives and her extraordinary legacy will thrive and inspire many generations to come. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this hard time", the statement concluded.

Last year, the multiple Grammy award victor announced her plans to retire. She was the first female artist to be admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and had 88 Billboard chart hits during the rock era, more than any other female vocalist.

In 2010, she underwent surgery for an undisclosed reason after feeling pain in her side, which was rumored to be connected to pancreatic cancer-a claim she rebuffed.

Barbra Streisand shared a photo of her and Franklin from 2012, tweeting: "It's hard to conceive of a world without her".

"I was talking to Smokey Robinson, my oldest best friend Smokey, talking about the fact that some doctors are not very well acquainted with faith healing", she told the AP. Producer Jerry Wexler had the good sense to put her voice and piano at the center of a kicking Southern rhythm section, stand back and let her be.

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The singer, whose career has spanned seven decades, died at her home in Detroit, Michigan, at 9.50am on Thursday, her publicist said. Born in Memphis and raised in Detroit, Aretha Franklin grew up performing gospel songs in her father's congregation. "She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever".

But at age eighteen - Aretha had a new vision. Franklin sang "America The Beautiful" at WrestleMania 3 and WrestleMania 23. "Not only was she a uniquely brilliant singer, but her commitment to civil rights made an indelible impact on the world".

"Salute to the Queen".

Following Franklin's death, Diana Ross simply wrote on Twitter: "I'm sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin".

Other hits include "Day Dreaming" (1972), "Jump to It" (1982), "Freeway of Love" (1985), and "A Rose Is Still A Rose" (1998). But she garnered renewed attention after appearing in the 1980 musical comedy film The Blues Brothers.

2005: Honoured with highest award given to a civilian, The Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Her last public performance was at Elton John's AIDS Foundation gala in NY last November.

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