Aretha Franklin dead: Queen of Soul passes away at age 76

"The gal singer, who as had one single disk so far on the Columbia label has a fine strong voice that bears emotional fruit when it is channeled into the material she knows and feels best". "Maybe she was looking for a teen hit, but she did at least four or five songs that were crap".

"Franklin's timeless mid-Sixties hits-"Respect", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman", "Think" and "Chain of Fools", among others-helped cement her status as one of the most celebrated, influential and commercially successful vocalists in the history of popular music.

She sang at the inaugurations of presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" at the investiture of the country's first African-American head of state.

Franklin was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

"She blew me away..." "She will be missed!"

"For more than six decades. every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine".

In 2010, she underwent surgery for an undisclosed reason after feeling pain in her side, which was rumored to be connected to pancreatic cancer-a claim she rebuffed.

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Appropriately dubbed "The Queen of Soul ", Franklin had over 100 singles on the Billboard charts over the course of five decades. She was diagnosed with cancer eight years ago in 2010 and last year announced her retirement from music.

Last year, the multiple Grammy award victor announced her plans to retire.

A statement from Franklin's family, via the singer's long-time publicist Gwendolyn Quinn, said that she died "surrounded by family and loved ones".

"Thank you Aretha Franklin for getting me through tough days", Twitter user, Pablo, said. She also had a seven-year relationship with her road manager, Ken Cunningham.

"As a daughter of the movement, she not only used her voice to entertain but to uplift and inspire generations through songs that have become anthems".

"Critics always talked about the gospel feeling in Aretha's voice so it was a very big deal when she finally made a proper gospel album like "Amazing Grace, '" Carpenter said".

'My condolences to all her family and friends.

"She will forever be the Queen of Soul and so much more to all who knew her personally and through her music".

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