Aretha Franklin, 'Queen of Soul', dies aged 76

Legendary singer Aretha Franklin was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, producing more than 20 US number ones 

The Queen of Soul - Aretha Franklin
The Queen of Soul - Aretha Franklin

“The Queen of Soul”, Aretha Franklin, has passed away at the age of 76.

The legendary singer was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She retired from music in 2010, when she was diagnosed with cancer.

Franklin was the  first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Franklin was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Franklin, dubbed the Queen of Soul for her powerful anthems like “Respect” and “Freedom” died in Detroit, her publicist confirmed.
Earlier this week, members of her family told NBC WDIV-TV in Detroit that she was "gravely ill." The station reported that Franklin had asked for prayers.

During her seven-decade musical career, Franklin produced more than 20 US number ones.

She gave her last concert in November at a gala in New York held in aid of the Elton John Aids Foundation.

Born in Memphis to a gospel singer/pianist and a celebrated Baptist preacher, Franklin was set from an early age by such gospel stars as Mahalia Jackson and Clara Ward.

By 1968 she was renowned throughout America and Europe as "Lady Soul" - a symbol of black pride who appeared on the cover of Time and was given an award by Martin Luther King.

She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W Bush in 2005, when she was saluted for "capturing the hearts of millions of Americans".

Ten years later she reduced President Barack Obama to tears when she sang (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman at a Kennedy Center Honours ceremony, having previously performed at his inauguration.

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