After a long battle with pancreatic cancer,, Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, has died. On the morning of Thursday, August 16, the singer’s family released a statement about their late matriarch.
“It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Aretha Louise Franklin,” her longtime representative said in a statement issued by her family. “Franklin … passed away on Thursday morning, August 16 at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit, MI, surrounded by family and loved ones. Franklin’s official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type.”
“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,” the statement continued. “We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.”
Over the course of her career, Franklin, who was born in Memphis, TN, but raised in Detroit, MI, earned 18 GRAMMYs, plus the Recording Academy’s GRAMMY Legend Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Known for songs including “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Chain of Fools,” “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You),” and “Think,” Franklin was an indelible and irreplaceable part of music history. Her decades-long legacy helped (and will continue to help) shape many of the artists who followed in her footsteps.
Because of her boundless influence, many of country music’s stars, including Faith Hill, Reba McEntire, Charlie Daniels, Shania Twain and more, expressed their sincerest condolences to the late singer’s family, while sharing their own memories.
See some of the reactions from the country community below.