Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, has died at the age of 76, the Associated Press reports
t was reported that Franklin had been gravely ill overnight Sunday, Aug. 12.
Born in Memphis, she got her start singing at New Bethel Baptist Church on the city’s west side, just blocks from Motown Museum.
An 18-time Grammy Award winner, Franklin was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
“When Aretha Franklin recorded the song, ‘Respect,’ it became the No. 1 hit in America and she won the first of 17 Grammy awards,” then President George W. Bush said. “The Queen of Soul has been a singer all of her life, thanks to the encouragement of her mother, Barbara, and her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin. They raised their daughter to be a woman of achievement, deep character and a loving heart. And I know they would be filled with pride as our nation honors Ms. Aretha Franklin.”
In 2017, Franklin announced it would be her last year performing concerts, and had to cancel a number of shows due to health reasons. Her final performance was in November 2017 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York City.
The city of Detroit honored the Queen of Soul in June 2017 by renaming a street in downtown after her. Aretha Franklin Way runs along Madison Ave. between Brush and Witherell near the Detroit Music Hall.
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