‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died aged 76.
The legendary singer died at her home in Detroit from pancreatic cancer after a long struggle with health problems. In the preceding days, family and famous friends – including musician Stevie Wonder and civil rights activist Jesse Jackson – had been flocking to her home amid reports she was gravely ill and receiving hospice care.
Franklin, who was widely known as just Aretha, will be remembered as the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She had 20 number one singles, the most by any woman, and earned 18 Grammy awards, including one for lifetime achievement, over the span of her career.
She performed at the inaugurations of two presidents - Bill Clinton and Barack Obama - and was the first African American woman to appear on the cover of Time Magazine.
Known for her powerful voice that stretched over four octaves, Franklin released hits such as Respect, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and I Say a Little Prayer.
Franklin's family said the singer's death was "one of the darkest moments in our lives".
"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," their statement read.
Tributes have been pouring on social media ever since news of her death broke, around midnight AEST.
Watching Aretha Franklin perform at the White House, and on so many other occasions, made time stand still. @BarackObama and I are holding Aretha’s family in our hearts right now. She will forever be our Queen of Soul. pic.twitter.com/NhHsbKijpl
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) August 16, 2018