Aretha Franklin dies at 76

"By 1968, Franklin was an established soul chart-topper with hits like "Respect", "Chain of Fools" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman".

The multiple Grammy victor cemented her place in United States music history with a powerful, bell-clear voice that stretched over four octaves.

Franklin passed away at 9.50am surrounded by family and friends at her home in Detroit where she had been under hospice care, a statement read.

"Let's all take a moment to give thanks for the attractive life of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of our souls, who inspired us all for many many years", Beatles legend Paul McCartney tweeted.

Franklin's popularity would fade but she had a revival in the mid-1980s with songs such as Freeway of Love, a duet with George Michael named I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me), Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves, Who's Zoomin' Who? and a cover of the Rolling Stones' Jumpin' Jack Flash. "As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this hard time".

1993: Franklin was invited to sing at the inauguration of Bill Clinton, and the following year she received both a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and Kennedy Center Honour.

"The loss of Aretha Franklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church".

US President Donald Trump also paid tribute to Franklin as "a great woman, with a wonderful gift from God, her voice".

Clinton and his wife, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, on Thursday hailed her as "one of America's greatest national treasures". For more than six decades since, every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine.

"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".

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Quinn added that "funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days".

Fox News got their Queens of Soul confused on Thursday.

Franklin's performance over three nights at the storied San Francisco venue stands among the best live albums in American music, and includes a surprise duet with Ray Charles and her version of Otis Redding's "Respect", a song that became synonymous with her.

Franklin also inspired a generation of singers.

"Every time one of her songs comes on, everyone sings along, everyone knows the lyrics and. her songs give you that power, like that confidence to step out into the world and to feel, as a woman and as a black woman, like, that you are handsome and that you can do it", said Chelsea Monroe, 29.

"Salute to the Queen".

Singer John Legend called her the greatest vocalist he had ever known.

A preacher's daughter, Franklin began her career as a teenager in the 1950s, and her inimitable voice allowed her to hop between gospel, R&B, classical and jazz genres with grace.

Davis freshened Franklin's sound while retaining her deep gospel roots, and the result was a late-career run of hits. Other famous hits from this period include "Ain't No Way", "I Say A Little Prayer" and "Think". She spent the last few months of her life outside the public eye as she dealt with her declining health.

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