Aretha Franklin passed away today at her home in Detroit at the age of 76.
She had been suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer, her representative Gwendolyn Quinn said.
A family statement said: "In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family."
Following the news, friends, politicians and fans began to flood social media with tributes to the legendary woman.
Carole King who wrote (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman was among them.
Below are just some of the tributes being paid to the iconic Queen of Soul.
In a statement, Barack and Michelle Obama said:
America has no royalty. But we do have a chance to earn something more enduring. Born in Memphis and raised in Detroit, Aretha Franklin grew up performing gospel songs in her father's congregation. For more than six decades since, every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine.
Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade - our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. She helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human. And sometimes she helped us just forget about everything else and dance.
Aretha may have passed on to a better place, but the gift of her music remains to inspire us. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace. Michelle and I send our prayers and warmest sympathies to her family and all those moved by her songs.
Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade—our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace. pic.twitter.com/bfASqKlLc5— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 16, 2018
Watching Aretha Franklin perform at the White House, and on so many other occasions, made time stand still. @BarackObama and I are holding Aretha’s family in our hearts right now. She will forever be our Queen of Soul. pic.twitter.com/NhHsbKijpl— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) August 16, 2018
Rest In Peace to our Queen of Soul. Her contribution to music and to the empowerment and enrichment of our hearts, Spirits and souls is immeasurable.— Ms. Lauryn Hill (@MsLaurynHill) August 16, 2018
Thank you Ms. Aretha Franklin for sharing your anointed gifts with us. They changed the world. We are deeply grateful!
The ever-reigning Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin is an iconic symbol of black pride whose music touched so many hearts and souls. As the 2008 recipient of the NAACP Vanguard Award, we know Aretha's legacy will live on and we send our love our prayers. Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/s2CHcqbO3G— NAACP (@NAACP) August 16, 2018
Mourning the loss today of @ArethaFranklin who shared her spirit and talent with the world. She deserves not only our RESPECT but also our lasting gratitude for opening our eyes, ears and hearts. Rest in eternal peace, my friend.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 16, 2018
One of the highlights of my career was singing with #ArethaFranklin at The Tony Awards. It was an out of body experience for me. One of greatest singers of all time. You will be missed by all. https://t.co/L8dIIhyR9Y— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) August 16, 2018
This photo was taken in 2012 when Aretha & I performed at a tribute celebration for our friend Marvin Hamlisch. It’s difficult to conceive of a world without her. Not only was she a uniquely brilliant singer,but her commitment to civil rights made an indelible impact on the world pic.twitter.com/Px9zVB90MM— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) August 16, 2018
The greatest voice in American popular music has been stilled. Our beloved #ArethaFranklin has gone. For me, she was a musical lighthouse, guiding and inspiring with every note. I loved her so and love her still. Goodbye, Queen of Soul.— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) August 16, 2018
Thank you #ArethaFranklin 💔we will miss you— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) August 16, 2018
Lucky enough to have seen Aretha live exactly once, and this was it.— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) August 16, 2018
Thank you for the music, we will be listening to you forever https://t.co/aMHIBFaTAs
Let’s all take a moment to give thanks for the beautiful life of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of our souls, who inspired us all for many many years. She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever. Love Paul pic.twitter.com/jW4Gpwfdts— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) August 16, 2018
Deeply saddened by the passing of a beloved friend and queen/warrior Aretha Franklin. Her contributions are legendary both personally and societally. We hope you take a pause today to remember the life of a beautiful soul. pic.twitter.com/ce4ht2g0ha— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) August 16, 2018
In Moonlight, there’s only one song that plays twice, in two different time periods — ETERNAL ♥️ pic.twitter.com/XX2ZHHssbt— Barry Jenkins (@BarryJenkins) August 16, 2018