President Trump Honors Aretha Franklin: 'Great Woman, With a Wonderful Gift From God'

President Donald Trump spoke out about Aretha Franklin hours after she died in her Detroit home on Thursday, calling her unparalleled voice a "gift from God."

"The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, is dead. She was a great woman, with a wonderful gift from God, her voice. She will be missed!" Trump tweeted.

Franklin's publicist and family confirmed that she died Thursday after a battle with advanced pancreatic cancer.

"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," Gwendolyn Quinn, Franklin's publicist, told the Associated Press.

"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," the family added.

"We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time," the family's statement continued.

Funeral arrangements will reportedly be made in the coming days.

Franklin had long denied rumors that flanked her for years about pancreatic cancer. She skirted around the topic while speaking to Access Hollywood in 2011, the same year reports surfaced saying she had been diagnosed with the disease.

"I don't know where 'pancreatic cancer' came from. There was just so many wild things out there and just so many things being said that weren't true. I just felt I needed to address it a little," Franklin said. "I was sitting there reading the newspaper and it was saying someone in my family said that. No one in my family ever said that to anybody."

She did acknowledge a health crisis, however, saying it took "a number of procedures before I knew what was wrong." She then promised that she'd be around for "many years to come."


In recent years, Franklin was forced to cancel several performances due to health concerns, with a statement from her management saying that the cancellations were per doctors orders.