Aretha Franklin has died at the age of 76

Aretha Franklin has died at the age of 76

Aretha Franklin has died at the age of 76 after losing her battle with pancreatic cancer.

The 'Queen of Soul' had been gravely ill for several days and reportedly passed away today at her home in Detroit, surrounded by her family and friends.

She had been in ill health since 2010 - canceling a number of gigs to have emergency surgery that year - but only recently went into hospice care.

A source close to Aretha recently told TMZ they had been informed a week prior to "prepare yourself, she’s dying."

The 'insider' also revealed to the news site that the I Knew You Were Waiting singer was down to 86 pounds and that they had been told "she could go any time."

Aretha - who became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 - had announced last year that she was retiring from music, much to the dismay of her many fans.

The A-lister songstress was best-known for her hit songs Respect, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and I Say a Little Prayer.

The beloved star won a total of 18 Grammy Awards and established herself as one of the best-selling musical artists of all time with an impressive career spanning over five decades.