The queen of soul, Aretha Franklin, has died at the age of 76, after battling advanced pancreatic cancer.
Franklin passed away at her home in Detroit surrounded by family and friends.
A spokesperson for the family says they have lost the matriarch of their family and that the love she had for her whole family knew no bounds.
Franklin had been fighting ill health since 2010 when she was diagnosed with a tumor, but she returned to performing after undergoing surgery and later retired in 2017.
The extraordinary singer sold more than 75 million records in her lifetime, won 18 Grammy awards, 20 No.1 singles on the R&B chart and had 77 entries in the US Billboard Hot 100.
Many people have paid homage to the legend including former United States President, Barak Obama, who took to social media to pay tribute to the queen of soul.
“Aretha helped define the American experience in her voice, we could feel our history all of it and in every shade our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest to redemption and our hard-won respect. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace.”
Others have taken to Twitter to express their condolences.
Michelle Obama tweeted:
Watching Aretha Franklin perform at the White House, and on so many other occasions, made time stand still. @BarackObama and I are holding Aretha’s family in our hearts right now. She will forever be our Queen of Soul. pic.twitter.com/NhHsbKijpl— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) August 16, 2018
Singer Paul McCartney says:
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
Singer John Legend tweeted:
Salute to the Queen. The greatest vocalist I've ever known. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 #Aretha— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 16, 2018
Franklin is survived by her four sons Clarence, Edward, Ted, and Kecalf.