By Ruth Kinane
August 16, 2018 at 10:57 AM EDT

Stars are paying tribute to the Queen of Soul following Aretha Franklin’s death Thursday at the age of 76.

Reports that the beloved singer, 76, was gravely ill surfaced earlier in the week before the news of her passing was confirmed by her family on Thursday morning. A statement released by her loved ones described Franklin as “the matriarch and rock of our family” and went onto say her her death was “one of the darkest moments of our lives”.

Starting out as a gospel singer, Franklin rose to fame in the 1960s, wowing audiences with her powerful and incomparable vocals. She remains one of the most successful musicians of all time, with 73 titles on Billboard’s Hot 100 and 100 entries on Billboard’s R&B singles chart. Her best known song is perhaps her cover of Otis Redding’s classic Respect, as well as other hits such as “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” and “Think.” She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1979, and was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Fans of the legendary singer shared statements and took to social media to pay their respects to the late Franklin, including many celebrities. See a selection of the tributes below.

“From the time that Dinah Washington first told me that Aretha was the ‘next one’ when she was 12-years old until the present day, Aretha Franklin set the bar upon which every female singer has and will be measured. And she did it with the professionalism, class, grace and humility that only a true Queen could. I treasured every moment that we spent together from working in the recording studio, to performing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, or simply hanging in the kitchen, and I will miss her dearly. RIP Ree-Ree.  You will reign as the Queen forever.” — said Quincy Jones.

“Aretha Franklin and I have been friends and label mates for more than sixty years. I adored her and I know the feelings were mutual. While I’m heartbroken that she’s gone I know she’s in the Lord’s arms and she’s not in pain or suffering anymore from the damn cancer that took her away from us. I’m going to hope, pray and count on the fact that I will see her again sometime. Rest in the Lord’s arms in love, Re.” — Sam Moore

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