Published: Fri, August 17, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Aretha Franklin started with gospel, ended with soul at age 76

Aretha Franklin started with gospel, ended with soul at age 76

The statement said "Franklin's official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin's oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute" in Detroit. "We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family", he said.

As an adult and an activist, Sharpton became friends with the soul singer. The last time she appeared in public was at the Elton John AIDS Foundation party in NY last November and her last performance was in Philadelphia in August 2017.

Showbiz 411's Roger Friedman told CNN: "She has a great family, she's surrounded by love, and the world is sending prayers". Her performance was phenomenal, and so were her earrings. In 1987, she became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Often simply called "Aretha", Franklin got her start in the Detroit church of her pastor father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin. A then-22-year-old Eric Clapton played on her stunning 1967 track, "Good to Me As I Am to You," while a young Duane Allman famously lent his talents to a number of Franklin recordings in the late Sixties.

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Franklin - who was widely known by only her first name, in true diva style - rose from singing gospel in her father's church to regularly topping rhythm and blues and pop charts in the 1960s and 1970s.

The faded photo appeared during an "America's Newsroom" segment with hosts Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith, who were in the midst of lauding Franklin's legacy.

She went on to have a string of hits, among them I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You), Respect and (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.

Clive Davis, chief creative officer of Sony Music Entertainment, said in a statement he was "absolutely devastated by Aretha's passing".

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When the death of Aretha Franklin was announced on Thursday morning, one United States president paid tribute to a voice that offered "a glimpse of the divine", in which Americans could feel "our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect". They wrote: 'For more than 50 years, she stirred our souls.

"She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever", he tweeted.

Aretha Franklin has managed to grow and live in the hearts of over 5 generations across the globe. Her voice was as strong, powerful and soulful as ever. She sang the anthem with Aaron Neville before Super Bowl 40 in 2006. ("I liked him a lot", she confided.) "I wanna be what he wants when he wants it/And whenever he needs it", she sings with a sprightly, lilting delivery, nudging the "wants" with a syncopated subtlety recalling one of her clear progenitors, Ella Fitzgerald. She was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.

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