Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File

Mourners 'say a little prayer' outside Aretha Franklin's father's church

Mourners have gathered to say prayers at Aretha Franklin's Baptist church in Detroit where her father was a pastor, after she died on Thursday aged 76.

Since the singer - often referred to as the Queen of Soul - died following a battle with pancreatic cancer, tributes from fans have been made all over the world, including at places where the legendary singer performed.

Flowers and memorabilia have been placed at her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and dozens of people danced and sang her hits outside Harlem's Apollo Theatre in New York on Thursday night.


Tributes have continued to flood in from stars including Dolly Parton, Sir Elton John and Oprah Winfrey.

Evangelist Franklin Graham tweeted: "She began singing Gospel music as a child at her church in Detroit where her father was a pastor. Our prayers are with her family.

"Aretha Franklin once said, 'Being a singer is a natural gift. It means I'm using to the highest degree possible the gift that God gave me to use'."

US presidents have also been paying tribute to Franklin.

Barack Obama - whose inauguration she sang at - described her as "divine and unmatched", while Donald Trump said her voice was a gift from God.

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File


Civil rights campaigner Reverend Al Sharpton says she was the soundtrack of the movement.

Franklin's death was confirmed by her long-time publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn, on behalf of her family, who said she died "surrounded by family and loved ones".

Franklin's ex-husband, Glynn Turman, has said the singer was "fighting all the way" before her death.

"I was holding her hand at the bedside, holding her wrist, which was now no more than skin and bone, but her pulse was so strong and so, so full of life.

"Her breathing was such a defiance of what was attacking her, that you got the sense Aretha was fighting all the way."

Quinn who is acting as the spokesperson for the singer's family said details concerning the funeral plans will be announced in the next few days.

However, showbiz website TMZ has claimed a memorial for Franklin could be held at a museum of African American history in Detroit.

The site said a source told them the reason behind this was because a church wouldn't be big enough for the amount of people who would be invited.

Additional reporting from PA.

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