Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, dies at 76

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, dies at 76

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, died at her home in Detroit on Thursday at the age of 76, The Associated Press reported.

The legend's health had been a concern in recent years. By the late '60s, Aretha became one of the biggest worldwide recording artists of her time, putting out ten top ten hits in a roughly 18-month span between early 1967 and late 1968.

By 1979, she had already been given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and went on to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. She performed at the inaugurations of presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, and sang the national anthem at Super Bowl XL in her adopted hometown of Detroit.

As Franklin transitioned into "diva mode", she became famous (and infamous) for wonderful performances mixed with health scares.

Franklin had two children from relationships when she was a teenager.

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Franklin's brother Cecil, who became her manager after White, died of cancer in 1989, as did her sister Carolyn in 1988 - one of two sisters who regularly featured on her records.

Franklin was also recognized by more than one commanders in chief. Her subsequent marriage to actor Glynn Turman ended in divorce in 1984. "She does not seem to be performing so much as bearing witness to a reality so simple and compelling that she could not possibly fake it". But her career did not truly take off until she signed for Atlantic Records in 1966. "I'm feeling wonderful, I'm feeling great and I couldn't be feeling any better than I'm feeling right now", she assured Williams without getting into specifics. Franklin's jazzy, R&B sound produced multiple hit albums and songs, including "Today I Sing the Blues" and "Runnin' Out of Fools".

The superstar was said to be surrounded by her loved ones. Her father, realizing his daughter's talents, made Aretha a part of his road shows, and her first gospel record, Songs of Faith, was released in 1956 with his encouragement. Aretha had reportedly been undergoing hospice care at her home for the last several months, and TMZ reports that she shockingly weighed only 86 pounds at the time of her death. She often did not get along with other women singers, including her sisters, could be quick to fire underlings and was erratic when it came to showing up for concerts and appointments. Her final performance was in November in New York City during the Elton John AIDS Foundation gala.

She also guest-starred as herself in a 1991 episode of Murphy Brown, in which she sang with Candice Bergen's titular journalist, who was a massive Franklin fan.

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