Music legend Aretha Franklin passed away on Thursday to advanced pancreatic cancer, her publicist told the Associated Press. The "Queen of Soul," best known for hits like "Respect," "Think," and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," was 76 years old.
The news follows reports that the singer was "gravely ill," Franklin's family told Detroit TV news station WDIV on Monday. Anchor Evrod Cassimy tweeted:
BREAKING NEWS: I am so saddened to report that the Queen of Soul and my good friend, Aretha Franklin is gravely ill. I spoke with her family members this morning. She is asking for your prayers at this time. I’ll have more details as I’m allowed to release.— Evrod Cassimy (@EvrodCassimy) August 13, 2018
Earlier tabloid reports over the weekend also suggested Franklin was gravely ill and "surrounded by family and people close to her" in Detroit, her hometown, according to USA Today.
Franklin's last public performance was in Philadelphia in August 2017, though her most recent performance was at for a charity event in New York in November 2017, USA Today adds. In March, she had also cancelled two concerts in New Jersey, following doctor's orders to rest for two months.