American singer and songwriter Aretha Franklin passed on today at the age of 76 in her Detroit home after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
The news was confirmed by her publicist in a statement:
Franklin’s official cause of death was due to advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin’s oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute.
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. 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.
Since news of her passing, several celebrities, politicians and thought leaders have taken to social media to pay their tributes to the legend.
See some of the tributes below.
Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Apple
We mourn the passing of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul. Her voice will keep lifting us, through the music she gave the world. Our thoughts are with her family, her loved ones and fans everywhere. Take her hand, precious Lord, and lead her home. 🎶 pic.twitter.com/I84HTEVZU1
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) August 16, 2018
Shaun King, American Writer
Our legends are passing away. Aretha Franklin was bold and brilliant her entire career. She wasn’t held up as an activist, but she was. She not only supported the Civil Rights Movement, but the Black Panthers and other activists throughout the generations.
She will be missed. pic.twitter.com/yKUykzmmGj
— Shaun King (@shaunking) August 16, 2018
John Legend, American Singer
Salute to the Queen. The greatest vocalist I've ever known. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 #Aretha
— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 16, 2018
Annie Lennox, Scottish Singer
As the One and Only ‘ Queen of Soul ‘ Aretha Franklin was simply peerless. She has reigned supreme, and will always be held in the highest firmament of stars as the most exceptional vocalist, performer and recording artist the world has ever been privileged to witness (1/3)
— Annie Lennox (@AnnieLennox) August 16, 2018
Zara Larsson, Swedish singer
Aretha Franklin was the only thing I wanted to listen to in the car growing up. I always asked my mom to put her on. Rest In Peace, Queen if soul. An irreplaceable legend!
— Zara Larsson (@zaralarsson) August 16, 2018
Hillary Clinton, American Politician
Mourning the loss today of @ArethaFranklin who shared her spirit and talent with the world. She deserves not only our RESPECT but also our lasting gratitude for opening our eyes, ears and hearts. Rest in eternal peace, my friend.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 16, 2018
Diana Ross, American Singer
I’m sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin.
— Ms. Ross (@DianaRoss) August 16, 2018
Paul McCartney, English Singer-songwriter
Let’s all take a moment to give thanks for the beautiful life of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of our souls, who inspired us all for many many years. She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever. Love Paul pic.twitter.com/jW4Gpwfdts
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) August 16, 2018
Claire McCaskill, United States Senator
Respect. You and your music lifted me up many many times during difficult times in my life. It was always hard for me stay down while listening to you. I Say a Little Prayer for You. Thank you Aretha Franklin. #Aretha
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) August 16, 2018
Rebecca Ferguson, Swedish actress
Aretha Franklin there is nobody and there will never be anybody like you, you have inspired me and so many others.. we were blessed to have been privileged enough to have enjoyed your talent, rest in peace you one and only Queen of soul 😔❤️
— Rebecca Ferguson (@RebeccaFMusic) August 16, 2018
Ringo Starr, Musician
God bless Aretha Franklin the queen of soul and peace and love to her family 😎✌️🌟💖🎵🎶☮️
— #RingoStarr (@ringostarrmusic) August 16, 2018
Carole King, American Composer
— Carole King (@Carole_King) August 16, 2018
Al Sharpton, American Activist
Deeply saddened by the passing of a beloved friend and queen/warrior Aretha Franklin. Her contributions are legendary both personally and societally. We hope you take a pause today to remember the life of a beautiful soul. pic.twitter.com/ce4ht2g0ha
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) August 16, 2018
Elton John, Singer
Barbra Streisand, American Singer-songwriter
This photo was taken in 2012 when Aretha & I performed at a tribute celebration for our friend Marvin Hamlisch. It’s difficult to conceive of a world without her. Not only was she a uniquely brilliant singer,but her commitment to civil rights made an indelible impact on the world