Elton John, Paul McCartney, and More Remember Aretha Franklin

The music world is mourning the passing of The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who passed away this morning at the age of 76.

“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,” Aretha’s family shared in a statement.

“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 was suffering from pancreatic cancer, and had earlier undergone surgery in December 2010.

Franklin sold more than 75 million records during her life, making her one of the best-selling artists of all time. She was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Her hits included:  “Respect,” “Chain of Fools,” “Think,” A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like),” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Rock Steady,” “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),” and “Freeway of Love,” with the late Clarence Clemons of the E Street Band on saxophone.

Shortly after the news broke of Franklin’s passing, celebrities honored her memory, and showed her plenty of R-E-S-P-E-C-T  on social media:

The loss of Aretha Franklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church. Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated – she was one of my favourite pianists. I was fortunate enough to spend time with her and witness her last performance – a benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation at St John The Divine Cathedral. She was obviously unwell, and I wasn’t sure she could perform. But Aretha did and she raised the roof. She sang and played magnificently, and we all wept. We were witnessing the greatest soul artist of all time. I adored her and worshipped her talent. God bless her. My condolences to all her family and friends. We shared the same birthday – and that meant so much to me. The whole world will miss her but will always rejoice in her remarkable legacy. The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen. @arethasings #RIP #ArethaFranklin #QueenOfSoul @ejaf

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