Aretha Franklin, the first female singer to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and known for a string of hits like “Respect” and “Chain of Fools,” died on Aug. 16. She was 76 and passed away in her Detroit home.
Her publicist confirmed her death to The Associated Press and Rolling Stone. Earlier this week reports emerged that the singer fell gravely ill. Friends and family then rushed to her side.
“It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Aretha Louise Franklin, the Queen of Soul,” Quinn said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “Franklin … passed away on Thursday morning, August 16 at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit, MI, surrounded by family and loved ones. 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,” Quinn said. “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.”
Her hits include “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Chain of Fools,” “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You),” and “Think.” Other hits included “Daydreaming,” and “I Say a Little Prayer.”
Franklin hadn’t performed in public since November 2017 when she sang for Elton John’s annual AIDS benefit gala.
Franklin had told WDIV in Detroit that she had plans to retire after releasing her last album. “I must tell you, I am retiring this year,” Franklin said in 2017. “This will be my last year,” she added. “I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it.”
She won numerous Grammy Awards over her 56-year-long career. “I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from, and where it is now,” Franklin said, WDIV reported. “I’ll be pretty much satisfied, but I’m not going to go anywhere and just sit down and do nothing. That wouldn’t be good either.”
Reports on Aug. 13 said that she was in a Detroit hospital, with her friends and family. But on Aug. 13, Franklin’s nephew Tim Franklin said that she is “resting” at home, and “family is there with her,” People reported.
“I am so saddened to report that the Queen of Soul and my good friend, Aretha Franklin is gravely ill. I spoke with her family members this morning. She is asking for your prayers at this time. I’ll have more details as I’m allowed to release,” wrote Evrod Cassidy, a WDIV reporter, on Twitter. “Spoke with close friend of Aretha Franklin and family. Iconic singer not doing well,” wrote NBC investigative reporter Harry Hairston.