Fox News memorializes Aretha Franklin with photo of Patti LaBelle

The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, has died at the age of 76, her publicist has confirmed.

In a lengthy Instagram post and multiple tweets, he remembered Franklin, who died Thursday from advanced pancreatic cancer, and her final public performance, which happened to be at his AIDS Foundation gala in November. "We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family", a family statement read.

"Thank you Aretha Franklin for getting me through tough days", Twitter user, Pablo, said.

Aretha Franklin lend her powerful voice not only to music - she also used it to speak out on behalf of the civil rights movement. "There were times that we were asked to go to the back of the restaurant - say - or we couldn't use the bathrooms".

Her last public performance was at Elton John's AIDS Foundation gala in NY last November. In 1987, she became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Franklin won 18 Grammys, and had 17 Top Ten US chart hits over a music career spanning seven decades. "You don't get to get that title by being mediocre".

Singers and musicians quickly flooded social media in mourning her passing, which came on the same day that fellow United States music giant Elvis Presley died at his home in Memphis, the city where Franklin was born, 41 years ago.

Lou Adams, 77, who had seen Franklin perform at the Apollo, said she was one of the greats.


Aretha Franklin singing Nessun Dorma at The Grammys in 1998.

But more than 15 years earlier, Pete Ellman, 56, had the chance to play in the horn section section when the legendary singer graced the Chicago Theatre stage, a memorable experience for someone who's been playing the trumpet since 3rd grade and helps manage Ellman's Music Center in Naperville. "As young as I was, that was the beginning". But Franklin let her millions of fans into her innermost world in 1999 when she published her autobiography, "Aretha: From These Roots". There had also been reports that she suffered from diabetes, though it was unclear if she had type 1 or type 2.

Best wishes? Um, those are usually reserved for a bride on her wedding day, not a grieving family hours after their loved one's death.

The Queen of Soul is notoriously private about her personal life.

Annie Lennox, 63, said: "Her voice will soar on for ever".

"She inspired generations.to stand up, to speak up and to speak out", added civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis.

The star was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honour, by former President George W Bush in 2005.

"She told me that she was going to be alright", Smith said. "She was someone that I looked up to for just the way she lived her life".


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