On Thursday morning, Aretha Franklin's publicist confirmed that the "Queen of Soul" had died in her Detroit home at the age of 76. "Franklin's official cause of death was due to advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin’s oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute," read a statement from her family, according to the Associated Press. "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."
The Franklin family's 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."
Immediately after the news broke, countless admirers took to social media to pay their respects to the singer and 18-time Grammy winner. Among these mourning fans were plenty of Franklin's fellow musicians, from a wide variety of genres — from John Legend to Barbra Streisand to Ricky Martin. Along with messages encouraging Franklin to "rest in power," many of these musicians and other celebrities shared links to her most popular songs, as well as memories of meeting Franklin in person or seeing her perform. "I'm sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin," Diana Ross wrote, while Streisand posted a photo of herself and Franklin in 2012, captioned, "It's difficult to conceive of a world without her. Not only was she a uniquely brilliant singer, but her commitment to civil rights made an indelible impact on the world."
I’m sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin.
— Ms. Ross (@DianaRoss) August 16, 2018
My prayers are with Aretha Franklin & her family during this difficult time ?? LOOK BELOW @ what I tweeted at the top of the year we MUST CELEBRATE the Living Legends while they are here to see it. So many have given us decades of Timeless music…❤️ https://t.co/VVacLxcMSI
— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) August 13, 2018
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) August 13, 2018
This photo was taken in 2012 when Aretha & I performed at a tribute celebration for our friend Marvin Hamlisch. It’s difficult to conceive of a world without her. Not only was she a uniquely brilliant singer,but her commitment to civil rights made an indelible impact on the world pic.twitter.com/Px9zVB90MM
— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) August 16, 2018
The greatest voice in American popular music has been stilled. Our beloved #ArethaFranklin has gone. For me, she was a musical lighthouse, guiding and inspiring with every note. I loved her so and love her still. Goodbye, Queen of Soul.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) August 16, 2018
Rest in peace Aretha. ❤ pic.twitter.com/QT7HeY5SIf
— Patti LaBelle (@MsPattiPatti) August 16, 2018
Aretha was such a timeless inspiration to me and so many others, the ultimate queen, thank you for the gift of your voice, music and unshakeable soul ?? pic.twitter.com/me3FXBY4WZ
— Christina Aguilera (@xtina) August 16, 2018
Queen… My Queen. pic.twitter.com/6olvvLPISd
— Anita Baker (@IAMANITABAKER) August 16, 2018
Salute to the Queen. The greatest vocalist I've ever known. ?????????? #Aretha
— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 16, 2018
The moment I wake up, before I put on my make up, I say a little prayer for you
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) August 16, 2018
Today we have lost one of the greatest. She will always be remembered and admired. Aretha Franklin, rest in peace. We love you.
— Ricky Martin (@ricky_martin) August 16, 2018
An unbelievable woman and voice. It was an honor to meet and perform with the Queen of Soul. RIP Aretha Franklin ❤️?https://t.co/BQBtdPuoZO
— Shania Twain (@ShaniaTwain) August 16, 2018
Lucky enough to have seen Aretha live exactly once, and this was it.
Thank you for the music, we will be listening to you forever https://t.co/aMHIBFaTAs
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) August 16, 2018
RIP Ms. Aretha ??❤️ pic.twitter.com/mUz0ZEYmpS
— chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) August 16, 2018
this is truly a sad day. rest peacefully queen. icon. my sincere condolences to her family. #ArethaFranklin
— KELENDRIA ROWLAND (@KELLYROWLAND) August 16, 2018
— Carole King (@Carole_King) August 16, 2018
Mourning the loss today of @ArethaFranklin who shared her spirit and talent with the world. She deserves not only our RESPECT but also our lasting gratitude for opening our eyes, ears and hearts. Rest in eternal peace, my friend.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 16, 2018
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
God bless Aretha Franklin the queen of soul and peace and love to her family ?✌️????☮️
— #RingoStarr (@ringostarrmusic) August 16, 2018
Goodbye Ms. Aretha. You were my idol. The greatest singer of all time. Every note you sang was pure and authentic and pierced our hearts with joy and pain and life.
— Idina Menzel (@idinamenzel) August 16, 2018
— Sterling K Brown (@SterlingKBrown) August 16, 2018
One of the highlights of my career was singing with #ArethaFranklin at The Tony Awards. It was an out of body experience for me. One of greatest singers of all time. You will be missed by all. https://t.co/L8dIIhyR9Y
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) August 16, 2018
I remember thinking I wanted her to sing forever and that the game didn’t need to happen. And The Coat. Was. Everything. #ARETHAFRANKLIN: Thanksgiving Day National Anthem. https://t.co/v0iuRQOi2k via @YouTube
— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) August 16, 2018
RIP Aretha Franklin
— Gucci Mane (@gucci1017) August 16, 2018
Aretha Franklin was the only thing I wanted to listen to in the car growing up. I always asked my mom to put her on. Rest In Peace, Queen if soul. An irreplaceable legend!
— Zara Larsson (@zaralarsson) August 16, 2018
So sad to hear about Aretha Franklin. She represented strength and empowerment… not to mention that voice. If you’re a vocalist, no matter which genre, you look up to that voice. #RipArethaFranklin ?
— Cassadee Pope (@CassadeePope) August 16, 2018
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) August 16, 2018
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) August 16, 2018
RIP Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul.
…Forever, and ever, you'll stay in my heart…
Thanks for all your wonderful music.https://t.co/HGJ5ZzaJzu
— Antonio Banderas (@antoniobanderas) August 16, 2018
My all-time favorite Aretha Franklin song. A gifted singer and musician. May she forever rest. https://t.co/dCsz9MwZs4
— Uzo Aduba (@UzoAduba) August 16, 2018
As the One and Only ‘ Queen of Soul ‘ Aretha Franklin was simply peerless. She has reigned supreme, and will always be held in the highest firmament of stars as the most exceptional vocalist, performer and recording artist the world has ever been privileged to witness (1/3)
— Annie Lennox (@AnnieLennox) August 16, 2018
She made me dance & sing. She gave me soul I didn't know I had. She will never not be in my life. Thank you. Rest in Peace brilliant Aretha
— Sally Field (@sally_field) August 16, 2018
— John Stamos (@JohnStamos) August 16, 2018
Deeply saddened by the passing of a beloved friend and queen/warrior Aretha Franklin. Her contributions are legendary both personally and societally. We hope you take a pause today to remember the life of a beautiful soul. pic.twitter.com/ce4ht2g0ha
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) August 16, 2018
May Aretha Franklin rest in peace. Growing up to her music was a blessing
— Laurie Hernandez (@lzhernandez02) August 16, 2018
RIP Aretha Franklin what a voice x
— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) August 16, 2018
Rest in power Aretha Franklin ?
— Mari Copeny (@LittleMissFlint) August 16, 2018
I love Aretha.
— Robbie Robertson (@r0bbier0berts0n) August 16, 2018
She raised her voice when women weren’t heard, she demanded #respect when women got none. She was a powerful black woman when black women were denied any power. Join me today in remembering Aretha Franklin – there will never be another like her #RestInPower
— Rep. Terri A. Sewell (@RepTerriSewell) August 16, 2018
— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) August 16, 2018
Aretha, you lifted our hearts with your incomparable gifts, RIP, your party will never be over. pic.twitter.com/Zi2xTAVyBw
— Tom Jones (@RealSirTomJones) August 16, 2018
The wondrous chorus of America at its best has lost a powerful voice. Aretha Franklin shook the heavens and our own complacency with her spirit and by tackling life with power and purpose. #Respect
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) August 16, 2018
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Oh queen oh queen how I cry to see you go. Like so many others I share the sadness of this loss. A true inspiration, a constant listen in my youth. I remember going deep into her B sides and live performances, always in awe of her ability. To discover the effortlessness of her gift, to take it in and experience the tones that shaped my love for singing. Her instrument like no other. Magic, pure magic. Thank you Aretha.
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