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‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin dies at 76

“QUEEN of soul” Aretha Franklin has died today, prompting a flood of tributes to the iconic black singer.

A statement from the artist’s family said she died from pancreatic cancer. She was 76.

Ms Franklin was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and is known for hits including (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, I Say a Little Prayer and Respect, having learned to sing gospel at her father’s church.

She was also a prominent supporter of the civil rights movement and friend of Martin Luther King Jr who performed at his memorial in 2011. She also sang at Rosa Parks’s funeral as well as at the inaugurations of two US presidents.

In 1970 Jet magazine reported her determination to post bail for communist revolutionary Angela Davis, then held in jail on charges, on which she was later acquitted, of having assisted an attempted courtroom breakout by George Jackson and the Soledad Brothers.

Ms Franklin said she was “ready to go Angela Davis’s bond, ‘whether it’s $100,000 or $250,000’,” Jet reported.

“Angela Davis must go free. Black people will be free,” the singer said. “I’ve been locked up and I know you got to disturb the peace when you can’t get no peace.

“She’s a black woman and she wants freedom for black people. I have the money, I got it from black people and I want to use it in ways that will help our people.”

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