Aretha Franklin has died today (Thursday, August 16) after a long battle with cancer.
The Queen of Soul passed away at her Detroit home while under hospice care. According to TMZ, Franklin was down to 86 pounds before she died. She was 76 years old.
Franklin’s public appearances have dwindled over recent years, with her last outing at Elton John’s AMFAR event in November.
Born in 1942 in Memphis, her family moved to Detroit. She began singing in her father’s church as a young girl. She landed her recording contract with Columbia in the ’60s, before moving to Atlantic Records in 1967.
From there, she recorded the most entries on the Billboard Hot 100 by a female prior to Nicki Minaj surpassing the milestone last year. Thanks to hit songs like “Respect”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “I Say A Little Prayer” and more, she’s won 18 Grammy awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
Franklin was surrounded by friends and family when she died, and is survived by her four sons.