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Aretha Franklin has died

16 August 2018

Franklin had more than 20 United States number one hits over a career that spans back to 1952.

She sang and lived with soul and style.

Franklin reached the top of the pop charts in 1987 with 'I Knew You Were Waiting (for Me),' a duet with George Michael. She passed away surrounded by friends and family.

Aretha Franklin, aka the 'queen of soul, ' has died, according to the Associated Press.

Franklin's publicist Gwendolyn Quinn has confirmed she died Thursday morning August 16 of pancreatic cancer.

"I wouldn't say anyone makes me nervous - just a tiny butterfly here and there", she said. It was never the other way around.

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Born in Memphis to a gospel singer/pianist and a celebrated Baptist preacher, Franklin was tutored from an early age by such gospel stars as Mahalia Jackson and Clara Ward. Her raw vocal talent, the way she whirled those notes up and out of her body, was obvious.

"I thought it was really amusing, but she did a handsome job with the pre-record".

Respect was an interesting one. "Two more top 10 singles, "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman" and "Baby I Love You" quickly followed, setting the tone for an illustrious career full of accolades.

A 1968 Time magazine article reported Franklin was in an abusive relationship with her first husband, Ted White, who was also her manager.

Her deep connection to the southern freedom movement was familial and spiritual as well as musical - her father was actively involved with Democratic party politics and the civil rights movement. "I'll be pretty much satisfied, but I'm not going to go anywhere and just sit down and do nothing. I'll have more details as I'm allowed to release". Eleanor Rigby, The Weight, Gentle On My Mind, (I Cant Get No) Satisfaction, Bridge Over Troubled Water: All of them, she reimagined as her own. One of the bestselling recording artists of all time, she became famous in the 1960s as a singer with a uniquely expressive voice possessing great passion and control.

Within minutes after news of her death, musicians, actors, producers, high-profile executives, political figures and others paid tribute to the powerful singer. Without her there could have been no Donna Summer, Chaka Khan or Whitney Houston (whose mother, Cissy, was one of the Sweet Inspirations, who often sang backup for Franklin); nor would there be a Janelle Monae, a Rihanna or a Beyoncé.

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The performer, who became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was diagnosed with the illness in 2010.

"Her voice is literally a national treasure", media mogul Oprah Winfrey said in a 2003 broadcast. By the time she was 15, Franklin already had given birth to two sons. This was where 14-year-old Aretha recorded her first album, 1956's Songs of Faith.

Stevie Wonder also visited her on Tuesday.

She continued to have great success throughout the later years of her career, and last year saw her release her most recent record, "A Brand New Me", which marked her 42nd studio album.

Years in the limelight had dimmed her capacity to be overawed though, it appeared.

She was originally scheduled to perform on her 76th birthday in March in Newark, New Jersey, and at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in April. She is The Queen. She was the only living soul it ever fit.

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Aretha Franklin has died