Artist News

Aretha Franklin dies 

By | Published on Friday 17 August 2018

Aretha Franklin

Tributes flooded in yesterday after it was announced that queen of soul Aretha Franklin had died, aged 76. Earlier in the week her family had confirmed that the singer was seriously ill. Her death, it has been confirmed, was due to advanced pancreatic cancer.

In a new statement yesterday, the Franklin family said: “In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins knew no bounds”.

Tributes came in from across the worlds of music, entertainment, politics and beyond.

Former American President Barack Obama – at whose inauguration Franklin performed – said in a statement: “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 for redemption and our hard-won respect. May the Queen Of Soul rest in eternal peace”.

Meanwhile the National Association For The Advancement of Colored People noted Franklin’s consistent support for the American civil rights movement, and how “her chart-topping hit ‘Respect’ became the de facto anthem for a nation struggling to break free from the chains of racism, segregation and a staunch patriarchy”.

The organisation’s Chairman, Leon W Russell, added: “We remember Aretha for the joy and love she brought into our lives and society via her powerful voice. No one can discuss the civil rights movement nor music without paying respect to the Queen Of Soul. We’ll miss her dearly”.

Countless artists also paid tribute. Paul McCartney wrote “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”. Elton John, meanwhile, declared that “the loss of Aretha Franklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music”.

Adele wrote on Instagram that: “I can’t remember a day of my life without Aretha Franklin’s voice and music filling up my heart with so much joy and sadness. Absolutely heartbroken she’s gone, what a woman. Thank you for everything, the melodies and the movements”.

Elsewhere on the social networks, Lady Gaga wrote “what beautiful music and vocal artistry you gave to the world – you are a legend and your soul will never be forgotten”.

And Alicia Keys noted how Franklin’s songs “made us stronger and prouder – she empowered us”, before adding: “We get to be inspired by her forever and now I’m going to write more songs in her honour”.

It’s thought that Franklin’s family is planning a public viewing funeral at the Charles H Wright Museum Of African American History in Detroit, while a number of tribute events will certainly be staged in the months ahead.