The Queen of Soul has passed at her home in Detroit.
Earlier that morning, Detroit’s WDIV-TV reported Franklin was “gravely ill” and asking for fans’ prayers. Later that morning, the NBC affiliate announced the singer was “resting and surrounded by close friends and family.”
The 18-time Grammy winner had battling health issues since 2010. Her ailments were never publicly disclosed, but in 2011 she denied that she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, as had been rumored at the time.
Franklin, the daughter of pastor and civil rights activist C. L. Franklin, was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1942. After growing up singing gospel music, she achieved stardom in the late 1960s with such hits as “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” and “Think.” She sold more than 75 million records throughout her career and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. In 2010, Rolling Stone hailed the “Queen of Soul” as the greatest singer of all time.