Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, Dies

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Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn tells The Associated Press through a family statement that Franklin passed Thursday at 9:50 a.m.at her home in Detroit.

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, passed away on August 16.

At one of Franklin's last public performances, in June 2017, she closed out a free concert in her hometown of Detroit with the message: "God bless you, God keep you, keep me in your prayers".

"The entertainer famously caused then-President Obama to wipe tears from his eyes as she belted out a rousing rendition of "(You Make me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors. As she confided in a 1995 Ebony cover story that appeared halfway through a seven-year gap between albums, The Queen slept until noon, watched her soaps, and cooked for friends and family. In 2014, Franklin reached a new milestone by becoming the first woman to have her 100th hit on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart with "Rolling in the Deep (The Aretha Version)".

Franklin was born in Memphis, the daughter of an itinerant-preacher father and a musician mother. She was the recipient of 21 Grammy Awards, the third most for a female artist.

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

She cancelled two concerts past year on doctors' orders, including a show in Newark, New Jersey that would have taken place on her 76th birthday. It was only after she left Columbia and linked up with the visionary producer Jerry Wexler and Atlantic Records in 1967 that her career really took off.

"I am not sure of whose toes I may have stepped on or whose ego I may have bruised between the Grammy writers and Beyonce", Franklin said at the time.

Before she was five, the family moved to Detroit where her father had been given the pastorship of a church.

Aretha's love and knack for all things musical started early on in her life, when she learned how to play the piano by ear and singing in church.

In the 1980s, Franklin earned her first platinum album with the hits "Freeway of Love", "Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves" and "Who's Zoomin' Who?".

Franklin's career spans six decades.

She issued a statement on the matter, in which she revealed she had lost a lot of weight due to her medication. He said the two have talked about her health over the years and said she is "a remarkable woman".

She was married twice - first to Theodore White, who she Wednesday in 1961 at the age of 19, but they split in 1986 after White was accused of domestic violence. She announced her retirement in February 2017 and last performed live at Elton John's annual AIDS foundation gala in November 2017.

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