The world lost one of its most admired figures yesterday after the death of soul singer Aretha Franklin was announced.
However, coincidentally enough, the woman known as the Queen of Soul passed away on the same day as the man known as the King, Elvis Presley, 41 years apart. Elvis lost his life of a heart attack aged just 42, while Franklin died of pancreatic cancer aged 76.
They were born just a hundred miles apart: Aretha was born in Memphis, Tennessee and Elvis was from Tupelo, Mississippi.
While Franklin had been ill for some time, it was nevertheless a shock for many. Tributes have begun to pour in from figures in music and beyond.
The statement released from her long-term publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn read:
“It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Aretha Louise Franklin, the Queen of Soul. Franklin, 76 years old, passed away on Thursday morning, August 16 at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit, MI, surrounded by family and loved ones.
“Franklin’s official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin’s Oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, MI.
“In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. 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.”
Tributes have begun to pour in from music figures, actors, and beyond.
Sir Elton John wrote:
“The loss of Aretha Franklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church. Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated – she was one of my favourite pianists.”
She performed her last concert with him in November last year.