Best known for her hits “Respect,” “Natural Woman” and “I Say a Little Prayer,” Aretha Franklin’s death at age 76 was announced this morning via her publicist.
Franklin had been battling pancreatic cancer, and her condition worsened recently — it was released earlier this week that the singer was “gravely ill” and surrounded by family and friends in her hometown of Detroit.
Over the course of her more than five-decade career, Franklin had over 100 singles appear on the Billboard charts. She also received 18 Grammy awards, in addition to a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammys.
On the big screen, she played the role of Mrs. Murphy in the 1980 hit film The Blues Brothers.
She is survived by her four sons: Clarence Franklin, Edward Franklin, Ted White Jr. and Kelcalf Cunningham. ~Gabrielle Austin