BBC Radio 2 to pay tribute to Aretha Franklin with special Queen of Soul show

Natasha Sporn
In memory: BBC Radio 2 will pay tribute to the late singer Aretha Franklin: Getty Images

BBC Radio 2 will pay tribute to the late Aretha Franklin with a special tribute on Thursday evening.

The network confirmed Paul Gambaccini will present a one-hour tribute to the Queen of Soul between 9pm and 10pm.

The programme will replace Marc Almond’s Torch Song Trilogy in memory of the singer who died today, aged 76.

On Saturday, Craig Charles will present a three-hour Funk and Soul special on Franklin over on BBC Radio 6 Music.

Her death was confirmed by her publicist Gwendolyn Quinn who announced she died at her home in Detroit, surrounded by friends and family.

The statement said: “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."

Franklin's family added: “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.”

Franklin had reportedly been "fighting for her life" since last week and was receiving hospice care at home.

On Sunday evening, veteran showbiz reporter Roger Friedman revealed the sad news in his Showbiz 411 column .

He wrote: “Aretha is surrounded by family and people close to her. She will be so missed as a mother, sister, friend, cousin. But her legacy is larger than life.

“It’s not just that Rolling Stone called her the number 1 singer of all time, or that she is the Queen of Soul. Long live the Queen.”