'Queen of Soul' Aretha Franklin has died

Her publicist told The Associated Press that she died surrounded by her family and friends.

In February 2017, she said she would keep recording but retire from touring after a limited run of concerts marking a new album that year, A Brand New Me, which featured her doing some of her biggest hits with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. She was later discharged and reported to be responding positively to treatment at home.

The photo of LaBelle was taken when the 74-year-old performed Over The Rainbow during a "Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House" special in 2014 (above).

Her last public performance was at Elton John's AIDS Foundation gala in NY last November.

"The loss of Aretha Franklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church".

Franklin belted out her hits for several presidents throughout her decades-long career.

WWE is saddened to learn that legendary singer and songwriter Aretha Franklin has passed away.

Aretha's voice so often sounded like a full brass band in itself, but the power of "Day Dreaming" lies in what she withholds as much as what she delivers.

As she rose in popularity, Franklin did not abandon her sense of activism. She did not attend either.

Noticing his daughter's talent, her father began to manage her. It took a move to Atlantic Records in 1967 to turn her into a superstar.

"What I love about it is that she never lost her connection to the church and that church training was always channeled through her music regardless of what she was singing", Staton told RNS. Her father supported her transition and was very instrumental in her 1960 record deal signing with Colombia records.

'I was fortunate enough to spend time with her and witness her last performance - a benefit for @ejaf at St John The Divine Cathedral. She has since appeared on the GRAMMY stage eight times, tying her with Whitney Houston for most GRAMMY performances by a female artist.

In Redding's version, "Respect" is about a man pleading with a woman to give him respect in exchange for what he can provide for her.

John Legend called Aretha "the greatest tribute he'd ever known". She spent the last few months of her life outside the public eye as she dealt with her declining health.

Aretha Franklin, the "Queen of Soul", died Thursday at the age of 76.

By 17, she had given birth to two children and later had two other sons. The mother of four boys has also had severe weight issues and has struggled with alcoholism and smoking addictions.

Former US president Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary paid tribute to "one of America's greatest national treasures".

Leading civil rights leader, Jesse Jackson, who visited Franklin earlier this week, tweeted: "A lot of music left the earth today".

"That wasn't my first introduction to her, but that was the first time of course I had a chance to see her live".

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