The “Queen of Soul” Passes Away at 76

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Although born in Memphis, TN, the “Queen of Soul” is forever connected to the city of Detroit (photo).

People Magazine reports:

Aretha Franklin, the self-taught piano prodigy, vocalist and songwriter who first conquered the charts in the late ’60s and never relinquished her throne, died Thursday morning of advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, her publicist confirms to PEOPLE. She was 76.

The Queen of Soul had struggled with her health for years. A source told PEOPLE Monday that Franklin had taken a turn for the worse and that her death was “imminent.”

RELATED: Aretha Franklin’s shocking probate situation. 

“She has been ill for a long time,” the longtime friend told PEOPLE. “She did not want people to know and she didn’t make it public.”

A musical phenomenon who crossed musical, racial and gender barriers, Franklin began her vocal career as a teenager, singing gospel hymns in her father’s Detroit church. From these humble beginnings she scaled to the very heights of stardom, scoring her first national chart-topper in 1967 with a searing version of “Respect”…. (READ MORE).

Franklin’s signature song was “Respect”

The favorite song of USADT Editors was “Until You Come Back to Me”

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