Aretha Franklin’s Tragic Death


Michael Ochs Archives

CIRCA 1967: The “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin poses for a portrait with circa 1967. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Priscila Chavez, Reporter

On August 16 we lost the legendary Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul, due to pancreatic cancer, at the age of only 76.

     Franklin started her iconic line of work as a child singing the teaching and revelation of christ or also known as, Gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church, where her father, Clarence LaVaughn Franklin was the minister. He was also a civil rights activists and was well known for having the “million dollar voice,” in Detroit, Michigan.  

     Detroit is also the place where Franklin’s public viewing and visitation will be at. It is set to be on August 28 and 29th, where fans can say one last goodbye to the leading light before she gets buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, where Franklin will join other family members like her father and Rosa Parks, who died in 2005. Franklin’s private funeral will be held at Greater Grace temple on August 31. The temple’s capacity is about 4,000.

     “Aretha was a big influence to big stars today and she built a pathway for music,” said Mariana Cardoso (‘19).

   The family’s spokeswoman, Gwendolyn Quinn says “family, friends, and invited guest” are said to come and the family’s guest list still coming together. Other big name stars also plan to attend, speak and perform at Franklin’s funeral. Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, Faith Hill, Chaka Khan are set to perform, according to Quinn.

     “It is sad to see Aretha go so quickly because she was so young and so successful and such a role model for today’s people,” said Lesley Melendez (‘19).

     Throughout Franklin’s successful career she won 18 competitive Grammy Awards, sang at the inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009 and also sang at concerts for Jimmy Carter in 1977 and Bill Clinton in 1993, who will also be at the private funeral.

     Although Ms. Franklin is gone, the queen of soul will never be forgotten because not only of who she was as a person but most importantly, what she gave to the music industry and media. May she now rest in peace at the end of her long battle of pancreatic cancer.