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How Did Aretha Franklin Die? New Details On The Tragic Death Of The Soul Icon At 76

How Did Aretha Franklin Die? New Details On The Tragic Death Of The Soul Icon At 76

How did Aretha Franklin die? The Respect and Natural Woman singer died Thursday at the age of 76 in her Detroit home. 

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She was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and the legendary songstress has had an illustrious career and was a part of some of the most historical moments in our country. A longtime family friend of Martin Luther King Jr., she sang “Precious Lord” at the civil rights leader’s memorial service. She performed “America (My Country ‘Tis of Thee)” at former President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Fans are mourning the loss and our thoughts and prayers are with her family. 

Here's what we know so far about Aretha's final days:

1. Her health took a turn. 

Aretha's representative Gwendolyn Quinn announced the death and said the cause of death was pancreatic cancer.

2. The last two weeks were tough. 

According to another source close to Franklin, those in the singer’s circle were told two weeks ago that “she could go any time” and that her weight was down to 85 lbs., TMZ reported.

3. She had to cancel concerts this year due to health problems. 

The past few years have been tough for Aretha healthwise. Not a lot of details were released about her illnesses but a person close to the singer told The Associated Press earlier this month that Franklin was seriously ill. “Aretha Franklin has been ordered by her doctor to stay off the road and rest completely for at least the next two months,” Franklin’s management said in a statement at the time.

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4. She did not want people to know she was sick.

“She has been ill for a long time,” a longtime friend told People. “She did not want people to know and she didn’t make it public.”

5. Her friends were worried.

Detroit news anchor Evrod Cassimy tweeted, “I am so saddened to report that the Queen of Soul and my good friend, Aretha Franklin is gravely ill. I spoke with her family members this evening. She is asking for your prayers at this time. I’ll have more details as I’m allowed to release.”

He tweeted on Monday that Franklin was alert and speaking. “Just got a chance to speak to Aretha Franklin. She is resting and surrounded by close friends and family.”

6. Her friend talked about one of the last conversations he had with her.

Abdul “Duke” Fakir was a member of the Four Tops and was close to Aretha. He told the Associated Press about their last conversation. “She was telling me she rides around the city every now and then — she talks about how beautiful it is again,” Fakir said. “We were reminiscing about how blessed we were — only a couple two of us are around from that era. We were just kind of reminiscing about the good times we had.”

7. People are mourning.

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Molly Given is a writer living in Philadelphia and lover of all things to do with mystery and magic in life. When she’s not writing her fingers off she can be found planning her next adventure in a new part of the world.