Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, has passed away aged 76 following a period of 'gravely ill' health.
Before she died, the Respect singer was visited at her home by Stevie Wonder, Reverend Jesse Jackson and her loved ones reportedly gathered to say their goodbyes.
In a statement the family have said: "It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Aretha Louise Franklin, the Queen of Soul, in a statement issues by Franklin's family through her longtime publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn.
"Franklin, 76 years old, passed away on Thursday morning, August 16 at 9:50am at her home in Detroit, MI, surrounded by family and loved ones.
"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.
"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."
Franklin's long time publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn, spoke days before her death saying: "Aretha Franklin has been the Matriarch of the Franklin family since the passing of all of her siblings.
"She is seriously ill and surrounded by family members who appreciate the outpouring of love and support they have received".
According to Associated Press, her cause of death was pancreatic cancer.
When news emerged that the singer was ill, messages and well wishes flooded in. On Monday night, Beyonce reacted to the news by dedicating her Detroit concert with husband Jay-Z to Franklin.
Beyonce thanked Aretha for her 'beautiful music' and said: "We love you".
According to Fox News, at one of her last public performances, in June 2017, she closed out a free concert in her hometown of Detroit with the message: "God bless you, God keep you, keep me in your prayers."
Before her death, well wishes poured in for Franklin, who won 18 Grammy awards in total.
Mariah Carey tweeted: "Praying for the Queen of Soul," and Missy Elliott added: "My prayers are with Aretha Franklin & her family during this difficult time."
Just days ago, a source told PEOPLE that Franklin had taken a turn for the worse and that her death was 'imminent'.
"She has been ill for a long time," the longtime friend explained. "She did not want people to know and she didn't make it public."
Featured Image Credit: PA