People & Places

Aretha Franklin dies at age 76

Music legend Aretha Franklin brings her 2016 Tour to the Durham Performing Arts Center on May 19, 2016 in Durham, N.C. Franklin, whose health has long been on the decline, is said to be suffering major health woes, according to reports. (Andy Martin Jr./Zuma Press/TNS)
Music legend Aretha Franklin brings her 2016 Tour to the Durham Performing Arts Center on May 19, 2016 in Durham, N.C. Franklin, whose health has long been on the decline, is said to be suffering major health woes, according to reports. (Andy Martin Jr./Zuma Press/TNS)

Aretha Franklin, the legendary “Queen of Soul” and a symbol of black pride and women’s liberation, has died at 76, the Associated Press reports.

Franklin, whose exceptionally expressive singing about joy, pain, faith and liberation earned her a place on music’s Mount Rushmore, died in Detroit.

She became one of the most revered singers of her era by exploring the secular sweet spot between sultry rhythm-and-blues and the explosive gospel music she’d grown up singing, an approach that produced powerful and hugely popular songs that turned Franklin into a symbol of black pride and women’s liberation.

Twenty of her singles topped the R&B chart and more than 50 reached the R&B Top 10 over a six-plus-decade career, none more well known than “Respect,” which became a crossover smash hit in 1967 and a fervent feminist anthem.

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