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NewsOne has confirmed the death of Aretha Franklin. She was 76.  Late Sunday night reports began to surface of the Queen of Soul was allegedly in a hospice in Detroit clinging to life. The singer’s Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn tells The Associated Press through a family statement that Franklin died Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit. “Franklin’s official cause of death was due to advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin’s oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute” in Detroit. Diagnosed with cancer in 2010, Aretha battled the disease gracefully in front of millions for eight years, only canceling a show when absolutely necessary.

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After 57 years on stage, the 18-time Grammy winner announced her retirement plans last year after the release of her most recent album.  Born March 25, 1942 she began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was a minister. In 1967 she broke out on the scene with hits like RESPECT, You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman and Think.

By the end of the ’60’s, she was named Queen of Soul and would go on to record a total of 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and twenty number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in the chart’s history.

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Aretha has sold over 75 million records to date and was the first female performer inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Rolling Stone named her one of the greatest singers and artists of all time.

TV One Chairperson Cathy Hughes said in a statement. “Today I join my community, my industry and the world in mourning the loss and celebrating the life of my dear sister, friend, and ally, Aretha Franklin. I send my love and offer prayers of grace and peace to the members of her family, her friends and colleagues who walked alongside her and shared her with tens of millions of fans around the world. I have so many fond memories of Aretha. Throughout her career, I was blessed to share her music and her iconic story. I am humbled to have been a part of her journey and to have served as an eyewitness to the evolution of her artistry and the formation of her legacy.”

For coverage of the funeral, visit TVOne.TV Friday, August 31 at 10/9C. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Franklin family.

Forever Our Queen: Inside Aretha Franklin’s Homegoing Service
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