The Queen of soul Aretha Franklin died this morning aged 76 at her Detroit home.
She died surrounded by family and friends, after an advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, her oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips said.
Born in Memphis on March 25th, 1942 by a preacher man and a gospel singer, Aretha Louise Franklin grew up first in Buffalo, New York and then in Detroit, Michigan.
She recorded her first album of gospel when she was 14 years old.
In 1966, Aretha signed a contract with Atlantic Records. With this major record label she released her first legendary single “Respect”, written by Otis Redding.
The following years she built up her success with many famous songs including “Baby I love you”, “Chain of fools”, “I say a little prayer”, “Think” and “(You make me feel like) A natural woman”.
In the mid 70’s, after two decades of solid success, Franklin’s career suffered repeated setbacks due to the disco genre making it’s entrance into mainstream music.
She made a welcome return to the charts in 1982 with her hit album “Jump to it” featuring Luther Vandross.
It should be remembered Aretha and George Michael’s duet “I knew you were waiting (for me)”, a Grammy Award-winning song that spent several weeks at number one in worldwide charts.
In her career, Franklin received 18 Grammy Awards, along with a lifetime achievement award in 1994. Also she was the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, in 1987.
In recent years, the legendary artist worked with André 3000 and covered Adele. She was planning a final album produced in part by Stevie Wonder.