Recording legend and Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin passed away at her home in Detroit earlier this week. She was 76 years old.
In a statement shared with CNN, the family said that the “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.”
Franklin’s career spanned over 50 years, singing everything from straight-up gospel to soul and funk hits. Over the years she became an icon both as a musician and as a civil rights advocate. Her mega-hit “Respect” was used by various movements throughout the latter-half of the last century to call for proper treatment.
Her family expressed sadness at her passing, but thanked her fans for the outpouring of love.
“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,” they said in a statement.
“We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.”