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'The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen': World pays respect to Aretha Franklin

News broke early today that the Queen of Soul had died aged 76.

49metal / YouTube

THE DEATH OF 76-year-old Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin has promoted figures from politics to pop music to pay tribute to the late singer’s influence on music and culture.

The news that Franklin had died at her home in Detroit broke earlier today with her family issuing a statement to say ”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.”

Aretha Franklin 'Queen Of Soul' 1942-2018 Hallhuber / Davids/Ropi Hallhuber / Davids/Ropi / Davids/Ropi

Former US President Barack Obama led the tributes praising Franklin for helping to define the American experience.

“Every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine,”  he said in a statement.

“In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade – our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. She helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human.”

“And sometimes she helped us just forget about everything else and dance.”

Current President Donald Trump soon followed, tweeting: “She was a great woman, with a wonderful gift from God, her voice. She will be missed!”

Daughter of Martin Luther King, Bernice King tweeted to say that both her mother and father had welcomed Aretha into their heavenly home.

Photo Gallery Aretha Franklin President George W. Bush awards Aretha Franklin the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award 2005 AP / PA Images AP / PA Images / PA Images

Following the news of Franklin’s death, her music quickly climbed the iTunes’ charts.

In the US, her 30 Greatest Hits album hit the number one spot, replacing Nicki Minaj’s new album, while Respect reached No. 2 on the songs’ charts.

More songs from Franklin, including (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, Think, ‘Chain of Fools and I Say A Little Prayer, were in the Top 40.

Here are some top tributes to the Queen of Soul:

wonderpeej / YouTube

Funeral arrangements are expected to be announced in the coming days.

georgemichaelVEVO / YouTube

With reporting from AFP and Associated Press.  

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