Sky News:- Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin has died aged 76 after suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer.
Her representative, Gwendolyn Quinn, said she died on Thursday.
One of the world’s best known soul singers, Mr Quinn, said she passed away at 9.50am local time at her home in Detroit, Michigan.
A family statement, describing Franklin as “the matriarch and rock of our family”, said her death was “one of the darkest moments of our lives”.
They thanked fans around the world for their “compassion and prayers”, adding: “We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on”.
The singer had cancelled recent shows due to ill health, and was later reported to be seriously ill.
Stars were quick to mourn the loss of the soul legend, with Elton John, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Lionel Richie and Carole King among the artists paying their respects.
In a statement, former US president Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary called Franklin “one of America’s greatest national treasures”.
Describing her as “elegant, graceful, and utterly uncompromising in her artistry”, the Clintons went on: “She will forever be the Queen of Soul and so much more to all who knew her personally and through her music. Our hearts go out to her family and her countless fans.”
Reverend Jesse Jackson, who had visited Franklin at her home in recent days, tweeted a picture of the singer with the words: “A lot of music left the earth today. The Heavens rejoice. Rest in heavenly peace.”
American singer and songwriter Stevie Wonder had also visited the singer at her home earlier this week.