Aretha Franklin dies at 76

Franklin died after years of declining health

The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin has died at the age of 76. The singer passed away earlier Thursday (Aug 16th) at her home in Detroit with hospice and surrounded by family and friends. The cause of death was from pancreatic cancer, her family confirms.

“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,” her family says in a statement.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Franklin was “gravely ill” after years of declining health. She was down to 86 pounds and a source had said “she could go anytime.”

“Aretha Franklin was an incomparable artist who came to be recognized as one of the most profound voices in music,” states the Recording Academy’s Neil Portnow. “Her distinctive sound, unforgettable recordings, and giving spirit will continue to be celebrated worldwide. Aretha will be dearly missed, and our thoughts go out to her loved ones during this difficult time.”

During her six-decade career Franklin earned 44 GRAMMY nominations, 18 GRAMMY Awards (her first in 1976 for “Respect), and was recognized by the Recording Academy on several occasions for her remarkable accomplishments as an artist and philanthropist. She was a recipient of the Recording Academy’s GRAMMY Legend Award in 1991, the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994, and as the 2008 MusiCares Person of the Year for her extraordinary artistic achievements and charitable efforts, among many other accolades.

Her many hits include “Respect,” “A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like),” and “Think.” She went on to win many more awards and influence countless musicians.

The singer announced her retirement last year stating she wouldn’t perform after 2017. Her final performance was on November 2, 2017 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York. Her last public performance was at Philadelphia’s Mann Center in August 2017 during which she was fighting exhaustion and dehydration.

Our thoughts go out to Franklin’s family and many artists have taken to social media to share theirs.

Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: