Aretha Franklin, ‘Queen of Soul,’ dead at age 76

Aretha Franklin, ‘Queen of Soul,’ dead at age 76

She signed on with Columbia Records and, in a few years, she would have her first Top Forty hit on American Radio.

Franklin was also active as an actress, appearing in dozens of films and television shows, but she will likely best be remembered for her role in "The Blues Brothers", where she performed the song "Think".

'We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on.

The superstar was said to be surrounded by her loved ones.

"The entertainer famously caused then-President Obama to wipe tears from his eyes as she belted out a rousing rendition of "(You Make me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors.

Franklin's performances were legendary, whether it was drawing a crowd to her father Rev. C.L. Franklin's church, paying tribute to close family friend Martin Luther King Jr. with "Precious Lord" at his funeral, stunning the 1998 Grammy crowd with her performance of "Nessun Dorma" while filling in for an ailing Luciano Pavarotti, upstaging her fellow divas on VH1's "Divas Live", singing "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" at President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration and almost being upstaged by her hat, or giving props to her heir apparent Adele with her mashup of "Rolling in the Deep" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" on "The Late Show with David Letterman".

It had been reported earlier this week that the soul singer had was "gravely ill".

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Franklin was born in Memphis, Tenn., on March 25, 1942. "And she just sounds so damn good". "She does not seem to be performing so much as bearing witness to a reality so simple and compelling that she could not possibly fake it".

At 18, she told her father she wanted to follow in Sam Cooke's footsteps and become a pop artist, and after she signed to Columbia she enjoyed a degree of success on the R&B chart.

There, Aretha Franklin began singing solos at age 10, soon after her mother, an accomplished piano player and vocalist, died. Franklin's father raised her as a single parent.

Franklin was married twice, to Ted White, who became her personal manager, and to actor Glynn Turman. During her time at Arista, Franklin scored a slew of hit songs including "Jump To It" "Freeway of Love" and "Who's Zooming Who".

The singer also struggled with depression, alcoholism and her weight.

Aretha Franklin - the "Queen of Soul" who performed for multiple presidents and was one of the best-selling musicians of the 20th century - has died. Five of her songs are in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

- Her voice is unparalleled.

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