‘Say a Little Prayer’: Music legend Aretha Franklin dies aged 76

17 August, 2018, 00:47 | Author: Donna Miller
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson asks for prayers for Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin, monikered the Queen of Soul and one of the most revered singers in the history of pop music, has died at the age of 76, according to a statement from her publicist. "She was rigorous and disciplined and handsome and magical, and people paid her respect", said Catherine O'Grady, executive producer of the Ottawa Jazz Festival, where Franklin performed in 2014. "We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family", Franklin's family said in a statement. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. Franklin's love of music began when she started singing in her father's church on Sundays, according to the Detroit Historical Society, and when she was 17 her grandmother brought her to NY to pursue her singing ambitions. "Aretha was one of the best-selling artists of all times and was popular for churning hits like 'Respect" and "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman".

Funeral arrangements for the singer have not yet been announced.

The mother-of-four had battled various undisclosed health issues in recent years.

Nearly instantly fans flocked to the powerhouse singer's star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame to pay their tributes. Her final public performance was in November at Elton John's annual AIDS Foundation gala in NY. She and Turman divorced that year.

TMZ founder and host of Fox News Channel's "OBJECTified" Harvey Levin called in to "America's Newsroom" on Thursday to react to the passing of Aretha Franklin.

Elton John posted a lengthy tribute to Franklin on Instagram, writing: "The loss of Aretha Franklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church".

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At age 18, she signed with John Hammond at Columbia Records.

The singer told Larry King at the time that she couldn't properly articulate the feeling she had watching the first African-American president being sworn in.

She remained with the label for a few years, before making the switch to Atlantic Records, where she achieved her commercial breakthrough with iconic songs including "Respect", "Think", "Chain of Fools" and "Ain't No Way".

And she delivered a virtuoso performance on Thanksgiving Day 2016, when the Detroit Lions played the Minnesota Vikings, accompanying herself on a baby grand piano positioned at the 50-yard line.

In 2009, she sang at President Barack Obama's first inauguration, thrilling the crowd with a rendition of "My Country 'Tis of Thee".

Aretha Franklin's family has been warned that the "gravely ill" star could die at any minute, according to a long-time friend.

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