Aretha Franklin, Queen Of Soul, Dead At 76

Aretha Franklin, the undisputed Queen of Soul, died today (August 16) at the age of 76. The icon’s publicist Gwendolyn Quinn shared a statement with the Associated Press this morning. In it, she confirmed the news and shared a cause of death. “Franklin’s official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin’s oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute.” The statement also included a personal message on behalf of the singer’s family. “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.” Thanking fans for their support during this difficult time, they requested privacy as they mourned their loss.

Earlier this week it was reported that the diva was in grave health and surrounded by family in Detroit, Michigan. “I am so saddened to report that the Queen of Soul… is gravely ill,” Evrod Cassimy, a reporter for Detroit news outlet Local 4, shared on Twitter. “I spoke with her family members this morning. She is asking for your prayers at this time.” Stars including Mariah Carey, Ciara and Missy Elliott reached out to offer support for the “I Say A Little Prayer” legend. “we MUST CELEBRATE the Living Legends while they are here to see it. So many have given us decades of Timeless music,” Missy wrote. There is no news about a funeral yet, but reports broke yesterday of plans for an Aretha Franklin tribute concert taking place at Madison Square Garden this fall.

Are you shocked by the news? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!