Aretha Franklin, the preacher’s daughter whose powerful voice made her the long-reigning “Queen of Soul” with such hit songs as “Respect” and “Chain of Fools,” died on Thursday at the age of 76, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
Franklin, who won 18 Grammys and had some 25 gold records, died at her home in Detroit, the AP said, citing a publicist for the singer. Representatives for Franklin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Earlier this week CNN, reported that Aretha is in hospice care at her home, where she is being looked after by health professionals, friends and family.
A report by the Mirror UK said the star is in “the final stages of a devastating eight-year battle with pancreatic cancer” and was receiving around the clock treatment.
One of Aretha’s close friends told TMZ that they were told a week ago to prepare for the worst as she “could go any time”.
According to the source, the star has dropped to 40 kgs.
The soul singer has hit the headlines for several years over her failing health and appeared frail in recent photos.
News of Aretha’s condition has left fans across the world concerned. Messages of support flooded social media, which has resulted in Aretha topping the trends list.
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela had on Tuesday joined the worldwide chorus of well-wishes and prayers for the ailing US musician, after reports emerged on Monday that the gravely ill star was surrounded by concerned family.