Aretha Franklin: Celebrities pay tribute to the Queen of Soul after her death aged 76

Aretha Franklin performs onstage at Radio City Music Hall in 2017 in New York City. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

Musical legends and Hollywood stars have paid tribute to Aretha Franklin following her death aged 76.

The Queen of Soul passed away at her home in Detroit, Michigan, her publicist confirmed.

Celebrities were quick to pay their respects to the singer, with many calling her an inspiration.

Sir Elton John called her death a ‘blow for everybody who loves real music’ in an emotional post.

Singers John Legend, Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler all posted their tributes on social media.

Annie Lennox and Sir Paul McCartney leant their voices to the tributes to the ‘peerless’ singer.

Artists Liam Gallagher, Ronnie Wood and Paloma Faith also shared their condolences.

Former American president Bill Clinton said: “Hillary and I mourn the loss of our friend Aretha Franklin, one of America’s greatest national treasures.

“For more than 50 years, she stirred our souls. She was elegant, graceful, and utterly uncompromising in her artistry.

“Aretha’s first music school was the church and her performances were powered by what she learned there. I’ll always be grateful for her kindness and support, including her performances at both my inaugural celebrations, and for the chance to be there for what sadly turned out to be her final performance last November at a benefit supporting the fight against HIV/Aids.

“She will forever be the Queen of Soul and so much more to all who knew her personally and through her music. Our hearts go out to her family and her countless fans”.

Hillary Clinton also tweeted a tribute.

A statement from Franklin’s family, via the singer’s long-time publicist Gwendolyn Quinn, said: “It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Aretha Louise Franklin, the Queen of Soul”.

“Franklin, 76 years old, passed away on Thursday morning, August 16 at 9.50am at her home in Detroit, MI (Michigan), surrounded by family and loved ones.

“Franklin’s official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin’s oncologist, Dr Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, MI.

“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.”