Aretha Franklin dies aged 76

News 17/08/2018

Soul singer Aretha Franklin has died after recently being hospitalised, her publicist has told AP.

She died at 9:50am local time at her home in Detroit, surrounded by friends and family.

The official cause of death was due to advanced pancreatic cancer.

"We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins knew no bounds," her family said in a statement.

Franklin's last performance was in November 2017 at Elton John's AIDS Foundation in New York.

Franklin’s father was a Baptist preacher in Detroit, and the gospel singing she heard in his church was her musical foundation. Her uniquely emotional and powerful voice would put her at the forefront of 1960s soul music along with Otis Redding, Sam Cooke and Wilson Pickett.

Franklin was active in the US civil rights movement and sang at the funeral of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr in 1968.

The Detroit native had her voice declared a Michigan "natural resource" and in 1987 became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

She  performed at the presidential inaugurations of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

Rolling Stone magazine in 2010 named her the number one singer of the rock era.

She sang the hits 'Respect', '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman' and 'Spanish Harlem'. 

Reuters / Newshub.