Aretha Franklin, the diva behind soul classics like “Respect” and “I Say a Little Prayer,” died Thursday at her home in Detroit, surrounded by family and friends. She was 76. Franklin’s publicist confirmed the news to the Associated Press.
Born in 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee, Franklin sang a number of soul staples, including “Chain of Fools,” “Think,” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” She was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and was also inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and the U.K. Music Hall of Fame. Her biggest hit, “Respect,” was an Otis Redding cover that Franklin turned into an anthem of the civil-rights movement.
Franklin was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, and later retired in 2017. As reports about her declining health circulated, many fans and celebrities celebrated Franklin’s iconic status.