The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, has passed away.

The 76-year-old music icon has died after a battle with pancreatic cancer surrounded by her family at her home in Detroit.

Her long-time publicist Gwendolyn Quinn has confirmed the news and in a statement from the family it 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” in Detroit.”

On their great loss, they 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.”

In the days before her passing, Aretha’s publicist had stated that the “love and support” from fans when news of her serious illness came out had been a great comfort to her and her family.

Gwendolyn said: “Aretha Franklin has been the matriarch of the Franklin family since the passing of all of her siblings. The love she has for her family is above reproach and was evident in the warm smiles she was able to share with her nephew during his very brief visit two weeks ago. She is seriously ill and surrounded by family members who appreciate the outpouring of love and support they have received.”

Thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of the star.

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