Soul singer Aretha Franklin has died aged 76 at her home in Detroit, her publicist has said.
The long-reigning “Queen of Soul” who sang with matchless style on such classics as Think and her signature song, Respect, had been suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer.
Earlier in the week, a person close to Franklin told The Associated Press that the singer was seriously ill.
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.
“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.”
Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days.
Franklin, who had battled undisclosed health issues in recent years, had announced her retirement from touring last year.