The music icon passed away on Thursday morning at her home in Detroit, MI, surrounded by family and loved ones, her rep confirmed to E! News, adding that her official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type.
"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," Franklin's family said in a statement Thursday. "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."
After the heartbreaking news of Franklin's passing was announced, the entertainment industry took to social media to pay tribute to the Queen of Soul.