THE "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin has died at the age of 76.

The legendary singer, who was the first woman to be inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and announced last year she was retiring from music.

She had been suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer, her representative Gwendolyn Quinn said.

She had more than 20 US number ones over a career spanning seven decades.

Her final performance was last November at a gala in New York.

It was held in aid of the Elton John Aids Foundation.