Diana Ross leads tributes to Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin

Diana Ross has led tributes to the late Aretha Franklin.

The Queen of Soul passed away at the age of 76 surrounded by her family at her home in Detroit after a battle with pancreatic cancer on Thursday (16.08.18), and tributes have flooded in for the late music icon.

The 74-year-old Motown star - who covered Aretha's hit song 'Respect' with The Supremes and always cited her as a major influence - said she's saying a little "prayer" for "golden spirit" Aretha.

Diana posted on Twitter: "I'm sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin. (sic)"

Carole King - who co-wrote the singer's 1967 hit '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman' - tweeted: "What a life. What a legacy! So much love, respect and gratitude. R.I.P. @ArethaFranklin (sic)"

Sir Elton John, who was fortunate to witness Aretha's last ever live appearance at his own AIDs Foundation concert in New York in November 2017, said the star's death is "a blow" for all music lovers and sent his condolences to Aretha's family.

In a series of tweets, he shared: "The loss of @ArethaFranklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church. Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated - she was one of my favourite pianists.

"I was fortunate enough to spend time with her and witness her last performance - a benefit for @ejaf at St John The Divine Cathedral. She was obviously unwell, and I wasn't sure she could perform. But Aretha did and she raised the roof. She sang and played magnificently, and we all wept. We were witnessing the greatest soul artist of all time. I adored her and worshipped her talent. God bless her. My condolences to all her family and friends. We shared the same birthday - and that meant so much to me. The whole world will miss her but will always rejoice in her remarkable legacy. The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen. #RIPArethaFranklin

Elton xx (sic)"

Sister Sledge, who performed with Aretha for Pope Francis in 2015, wrote: "We all mourn the passing of a QUEEN #arethafranklin that blessed the world and us personally for a shining example of grace, class, beauty and strength, and sheer talent (sic)"

Sir Paul McCartney admitted Aretha will be sorely "missed", but the "memory of her greatness" will live on.

The Beatles legend tweeted: "Let's all take a moment to give thanks for the beautiful life of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of our souls, who inspired us all for many many years. She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever. Love Paul (sic)"

Sir Mick Jagger was saddened by the news, writing: ''Very sad to hear the news about Aretha, she was so inspiring and wherever you were she always brought you to church."

Barbra Streisand - who is the same age as the 18-time Grammy-winner was when she passed - shared a photo of the pair duetting in 2012, at a tribute concert for their late composer friend Marvin Hamlisch, and added how it's "difficult to conceive a world without her".

She captioned the Twitter post: "This photo was taken in 2012 when Aretha & I performed at a tribute celebration for our friend Marvin Hamlisch. It's difficult to conceive of a world without her. Not only was she a uniquely brilliant singer, but her commitment to civil rights made an indelible impact on the world (sic)"

John Legend, Liam Gallagher, Shania Twain and Ricky Martin are also among stars of the showbiz world to pay tribute to one of the "greatest" singers of all time.

'All of Me' hitmaker John tweeted: "Salute to the Queen. The greatest vocalist I've ever known. #Aretha (sic)"

Former Oasis frontman Liam wrote: "RIP Aretha Franklin what a voice x (sic)"

Ricky said: "Today we have lost one of the greatest. She will always be remembered and admired. Aretha Franklin, rest in peace. We love you. (sic)"

And Shania tweeted: "An unbelievable woman and voice. It was an honor to meet and perform with the Queen of Soul. RIP Aretha Franklin (sic)"