The news that Aretha Franklin has passed away hit headlines Today. The singer nicknamed the 'Queen of Soul' sadly lost her battle against Pancreatic Cancer at the age of 76. Franklin was best known for her hit songs such as; 'Respect', 'Natural Woman' and 'I say a little prayer' which are all still well-known five-decades later.

The New York Times wrote "Aretha Franklin, universally acclaimed as the “Queen of Soul” and one of America’s greatest singers in any style died on Thursday at her home in Detroit. She was 76."

Aretha Franklin made her debut in 1956, singing Gospel at the New Bethel Baptist Church where her Father was a Minister when she was just 14.

The BBC wrote about how her career and love for singing first began; "Born in Memphis to a gospel singer/pianist and a celebrated Baptist preacher, Franklin was tutored from an early age by such gospel stars as Mahalia Jackson and Clara Ward."

Queen of Soul

Aretha Franklin made her name as the 'Queen of Soul' early on in her music career, and she certainly had the credentials to live up to this name. The BBC looked back on her accolades; 'Respect' won her two Grammy's and reached number one in the US in 1967, '(You make me feel) Like a Natural Woman' made the top ten in the US the same year, 'Chain of Fools' reached number two in the US and the same year she had another US top ten with 'Think'.

The BBC also wrote that "By 1968 she was renowned throughout America and Europe as "Lady Soul" - a symbol of black pride who appeared on the cover of Time and was given an award by Martin Luther King." Franklin also inspired many female R&B singers that followed in her footsteps including; Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys, who The New York Times notes "Openly emulated her."

Franklin even received a Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bush in 2006.

The New York Times wrote how "She had five decades of recordings behind her, but listeners still thrilled to her voice." Fans across America and the World were able to enjoy her music as it stood the test of time.

In 2010 when the 'Queen of Soul' made it to number one on The Rolling Stone's '100 Greatest Singers of All Time' Mary J. Blige had her say. The New York Times quotes J. Blige as having said “Aretha is a gift from God. When it comes to expressing yourself through song, there is no one who can touch her. She is the reason why women want to sing.”

Aretha remembered

In response to hearing the news of Franklin's death, many fans took to Twitter to share their grief, pay tribute and send love to Aretha and her family. Some of the fans included celebrities and other singers who admire the 'Queen of Soul' including; Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Barack Obama, John Legend and even NASA.

NASA had this to say in response to her passing "We’re saddened by the loss of Aretha Franklin. Asteroid 249516 Aretha, found by our NEOWISE mission and named after the singer to commemorate the #Queenofsoul, will keep orbiting beyond Mars."

While the BBC quoted Paul McCartney "Let's all take a moment to give thanks for the beautiful life of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of our souls, who inspired us all for many many years.

She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever."

They also included the response from Annie Lennox, in their article on Franklin's life. Lennox paid her tribute by writing "She has reigned supreme. and will always be held in the highest firmament of stars as the most exceptional vocalist, performer and recording artist the world has ever been privileged to witness."

Aretha Franklin lived a long and full life, making her name as the 'Queen of Soul' and having continued success throughout her five-decade career with songs that will live on for years after her passing.