Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, dies at the age of 76


Time to pay R.E.S.P.E.C.T. — the Queen of Soul has died.

Music legend Aretha Franklin passed away today (August 16), the performer’s publicist confirmed to the Associated Press this morning. She was 76.

Franklin, known for a litany of iconic hits including “Respect” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” died in her Detroit home, where she was under hospice care. According to reports, she fought a long battle with cancer, and her health began to fade in recent months. As TMZ notes, Franklin “was surrounded by friends and family when she passed.”

Pour one out for the powerhouse performer. And read Barack Obama’s incredible statement posted Thursday afternoon.