Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, has passed away at the age of 76 from pancreatic cancer. Her family confirmed the news in a statement. “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. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds,” Franklin’s family said.

“We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.”

Franklin died at 9:50 am at her home in Detroit, surrounded by family and friends.

She was the first woman admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she placed more than 100 singles on the Billboard charts and won 18 Grammy awards.

“Aretha Franklin is not only the definitive female soul singer of the Sixties,” according to her Rolling Stone biography, “she’s also one of the most influential and important voices in pop history.”