She had been suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer, her representative Gwendolyn Quinn said. "We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family", a statement released by Franklin's family read.
They have said funeral arrangements will be announced "in the coming days".
Aretha Franklin died Thursday at her home in Detroit, according to her publicist. Ten of those wins are for best R&B Vocal Performance.
Franklin's voice - a powerful instrument that could instantly go from smooth and smothering to powerful and piercing - was unmistakable.
"R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me", she sang. She also performed at the inaugurations of Democratic party presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. And as news broke of Franklin's ailing health, many celebrities in the music industry posted messages of prayer and support on social media, including Sister Sledge. She had another at 14 and suffered an abusive marriage at the age of 19.
"In rapid succession came hits like "Chain of Fools" and the sensual ballad "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman".
She performed "Natural Woman" at the Kennedy Center Honors in December 2015 in a tribute to songwriter Carole King, who wrote the song. She reportedly overcame "exhaustion and dehydration" to complete the show. In 1987, she became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The legendary singer was born in Memphis, Tennessee, but grew up in Detroit, Michigan.
From her father's church to the hallowed grounds of the US Capitol, Franklin sang for parishioners and presidents and left her mark on music fans everywhere. He also knew gospel stars of that era including Marion Williams and Clara Ward. We were witnessing the greatest soul artist of all time.
However, the decade was not a bust by a long shot. She released an album as recently as a year ago.
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The following year, she was diagnosed with cancer, but later made a triumphant return to the stage in 2013, following surgery.
Franklin worked with Houston's mother, Cissy, on studio projects, and a bond formed soon afterward.
"She's very ill. She has been under the weather for months".
Her publicist confirmed the death to several USA media outlets.
But her childhood was not a happy one.
She announced a year ago she was retiring from music. Here is a look back at her iconic life and career.
Franklin teared up as the medal was placed around her neck. She was surrounded by family and friends at the time of her passing.
As an unmarried teenager, Franklin gave birth to a son at 13 and another two years later. Aretha would marry a second time, to Glynn Turman, in 1978. Her hit songs in the late 1960s tapped into the spirit of the civil rights movement while her hit cover (and gendered re-authoring) of Otis Redding's Respect was an anthem of black female empowerment.
Annie Lennox said Franklin was "simply peerless" and will always be remembered as "the most exceptional vocalist, performer and recording artist the world has ever been privileged to witness". "That way there wouldn't be so many spoons in the soup. And believe me, I was not the only one".
Franklin continued touring for much of her life, despite medical problems in 2011, 2013 and 2017. Franklin was among the performers at Elton John's annual AIDS Foundation gala a year ago in NY.