VOL. 133 | NO. 162 | Thursday, August 16, 2018
Memphis-Born Aretha Franklin Dies; Queen of Soul was 76
Special to The Daily News
Aretha Franklin, who cast the first sounds from her wonderful voice in a South Memphis house, died Thursday, Aug. 16, at her home in Detroit, her publicist confirmed. She was 76. Her longtime publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn, said the legendary singer died from advanced pancreatic cancer. Earlier this week, word emerged that Ms. Franklin was in hospice care.
“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,” the family said in a statement. “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.”
Known as the Queen of Soul, Ms. Franklin was the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In 2010, Rolling Stone magazine named Franklin No. 9 on its “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” list.
Despite living only two years in the Bluff City after her birth at 406 Lucy Ave., the city always boasted that her life started in Memphis. When she was 2 years old, she moved to Detroit – the city that became synonymous with the legendary singer.
Her six-decade career includes the songs “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Chain of Fools,” “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)” and, of course, “Respect.”
Ms. Franklin won 18 Grammy Awards. She also has five recordings in the Grammy Hall of Fame, a Grammy Legend Award and a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 2005 she received The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
The reaction on social media was swift in recognizing Ms. Franklin’s powerful voice and memorable performances. From the White House to fans over the world, people posted their memories.
“The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, is dead. She was a great woman, with a wonderful gift from God, her voice. She will be missed!” President Donald Trump tweeted.
Former President Barack Obama, and his wife, Michelle, issued a statement saying that while “America has no royalty … every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine.”
“Aretha may have passed on to a better place,” the Obamas stated, “but the gift of her music remains to inspire us all. May the Queen of Soul rest in peace.”
“I’m sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin,” singer Diana Ross stated.
Songwriter Carole King posted “What a life. What a legacy! So much love, respect and gratitude. R.I.P. @ArethaFranklin"
Two years ago, then-Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter suspended his demolition order of Franklin’s birthplace because of a renewed campaign by the LeMoyne-Owen College Community Development Corp. to turn the property into a museum.
Jeffrey Higgs, LOCCDC director, is the Environmental Court-appointed receiver of the property; the home is owned by Vera House.
In 2016, Higgs gave three sites to relocate the two-bedroom home: on Mississippi Boulevard, College Street or McLemore Avenue, near the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and the Memphis Slim House.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.