Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul Music and first woman to ever be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, died Thursday (August 16) after a lengthy battle with cancer, according to The Associate Press. She was 76. first reported: “Originally diagnosed with cancer in 2010, Aretha, who turned 76 in March, bravely battled back and refused to be knocked out by illness. Her last performance was on November 2, 2017 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York. Her final public performance was at Philadelphia’s Mann Center in August 2017. It was a miraculous show as Aretha was already then fighting exhaustion and dehydration. Aretha is surrounded by family and people close to her. She will be so missed as a mother, sister, friend, cousin. But her legacy is larger than life.”

TMZ later reported that Franklin was down to just 86 pounds, and that a "dear friend" said they were warned: "prepare yourself, she's dying."

Franklin told Local 4 Detroit in early 2017 that she planned to retire by the year's end. Still, she insisted she wanted to continue doing "some select things, many one a month, for six months out of the year."

"I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from, and where it is now," she added. "I'll be pretty much satisfied, but I'm not going to go anywhere and just sit down and do nothing. That wouldn't be good either."

Over the course of her career, which officially kicked off in 1956 with the release of Songs of Faith, Franklin won 18 Grammy Awards and sold more than 75 million records worldwide, making singles like "Natural Woman," "Respect" and "Think" enduring classics. With 112 charted singles on Billboard, which include 17 top ten pop singles,100 R&B titles and 20 No. 1 R&B singles, she is the most charted female artist in Billboard's history.

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