Aretha Franklin dies aged 76

Franklin performing on stage in April 2017

Franklin performing on stage in April 2017

Aretha Franklin, monikered the Queen of Soul and one of the most revered singers in the history of pop music, has died at the age of 76, according to a statement from her publicist.

Franklin, who didn't let health issues slow her performance schedule in recent years prior to her retirement from the industry in 2017, died on August 16, 2018 after several days in hospice care, confirmed David Shepardson, the mayor of Detroit.

Aretha Franklin, the undisputed "Queen of Soul" has died at age 76.

In 1987 Franklin became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. As Detroit Mayor Jerry Cavanagh declared "Aretha Franklin Day" in 1968, she shared the moment with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., just two months before his assassination. Her grandmother raised both children in Detroit while Franklin was touring and establishing her music career.

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Franklin had four children. 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".

In a career spanning more than 50 years, Franklin's performances marked certain pivotal moments in USA history. In March of 2018, she canceled a pair of scheduled concerts in due to what her management described as doctor's orders.

Franklin often demanded she be paid in cash before performing and took her status as musical royalty seriously. She signed on with Columbia Records and, in a few years, she would have her first Top Forty hit on American Radio.

Before she was five, the family moved to Detroit where her father had been given the pastorship of a church.

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By mid-decade, Franklin racked up several strong entries on the R&B singles and album charts, but failed to achieve even one major pop crossover during her six years at Columbia.

Her album of the same name also featured her signature number, a rendition of Otis Redding's Respect, which topped the chart.

At one point she had plans to marry longtime companion Willie Wilkerson, announcing an engagement in 1988, but she eventually called it off in 2012.

"I might be just 26, but I'm an old woman in disguise - 26 goin' on 65", she told the magazine shortly before ending her first marriage to Ted White. "He threw his arms around me, and he was a wonderful man", said Aretha. He said the two have talked about her health over the years and said she is "a remarkable woman".

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Her most recent performance was in November previous year at Sir Elton John's Aids Foundation's 25th anniversary gala in NY.

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