Iconic gospel singer Aretha Franklin known widely as the Queen of Soul has breathed her last at age 76. According to her publicist Gwendolyn Quinn, Aretha died at 9:50 am at her Detroit home where she was surrounded by her family and friends. Her oncologist Dr Philip Philips of Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit confirmed her official cause of death -- pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type. Aretha had been gravely ill due and had been admitted to a hospice care three days before her death.
The Franklin family said: "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."
The family reached out to everyone who showed them support during the difficult time and thanked them for their prayers. They also requested for privacy as they grieve the death of the legendary singer, who had fans all over the world.
Despite the singer's best efforts to keep her struggles private, Aretha's waning health was evident in her recent appearances as her illness had turned her frail. The singer's final performance was in November 2017, where she performed at Elton John's AIDS Foundation Gala in New York.
The singer has delivered many unforgettable songs in her long career, but the most iconic song has been R-E-S-P-E-C-T, which went on to become an evergreen feminist anthem.