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(DETROIT) -- Aretha Franklin, the pastor's daughter who became the undisputed Queen of Soul over a career that spanned more than five decades, has died of advanced pancreatic cancer, ABC News has confirmed.

"It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Aretha Louise Franklin, the Queen of Soul," read a statement from her rep.

"Franklin, 76 years old, passed away on Thursday morning, August 16 at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit, MI, surrounded by family and loved ones. 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 in Detroit, MI."

“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 love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds," the statement continued.

“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.”

Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days.

Franklin's health had been a concern for the past few years, causing a spate of concert cancellations.  In 2017, she appeared alarmingly thin but claimed it was a side effect of an unspecified medication. After announcing she was retiring from the road in 2017, Franklin still scheduled shows for 2018 but in March, she was ordered by her doctors to cancel all shows and rest for two months.  Despite rumors of serious health problems, she's never publicly spoken about her ailments.

Merely saying that Franklin was one of the greatest vocalists of all time hardly seems adequate to describe her influence and impact -- her voice was officially declared a natural resource by her home state of Michigan.  In 2015, President Barack Obama said of Franklin: "Nobody embodies more fully the connection between the African-American spiritual, the blues, R&B, rock and roll -- the way that hardship and sorrow were transformed into something full of beauty and vitality and hope."

Franklin started her music career early, singing gospel music as a child at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit where her father, C.L. Franklin, was minister.  In 1960, at the age of 18, she signed to Columbia Records and experienced some success, especially on the R&B charts.  But it wasn't until 1967, when she signed to Atlantic Records, that her career really took off. 

For Atlantic, Franklin recorded-now classics "Respect," "Chain of Fools," "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," and "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)," which helped her cross over to the pop charts.  She won her first Grammy in 1968, the same year she appeared on the cover of TIME magazine.  She'd eventually go on to win a total of 20 Grammys, including special Grammys awarded outside of competition, and chart more than 73 songs on the Billboard Hot 100.

Franklin was also part of the civil rights movement of the sixties and has been called "the voice of Black America."  Having met Martin Luther King Jr. through her father, himself a noted civil rights leader, she sang at events with Dr. King and her signature hit,  "Respect," became a civil rights anthem.  When King was assassinated in 1968, Franklin performed "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" at his funeral.

Aretha's hits continued through the '70s but she left Atlantic records in 1979, signing to Clive Davis' label, Arista, in 1980.  That same year, she made her unforgettable appearance as a waitress in The Blues Brothers.  Her 1982 album, Jump to It, returned her to the pop charts for the first time in six years.  She remained with Arista for more than 20 years, racking up hits like "Who's Zoomin' Who," "Freeway of Love" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash." In 1987, she was the first female performer inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

During this time, Aretha also started recording duets with younger artists, including Eurythmics, Whitney Houston, Michael McDonald, Mary J. Blige, Elton John and George Michael, the latter with whom she scored the 1987 #1 smash duet "I Knew You Were Waiting for Me."  

In 1994, Franklin received the Kennedy Center Honors, at the time the youngest person to be so honored. That same year, she received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.  She was also the recipient of the National Medal of the Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among countless other awards.

While Franklin's musical output covered rock, soul, pop, R&B and gospel, in 1998 she proved she really could sing anything by belting out the operatic aria "Nessun Dorma" at the Grammy Awards, filling in for an ailing Luciano Pavarotti.

Over the past 15 years, Franklin performed at a number of high-profile events.  In 2006, she sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl XL in Detroit with Aaron Neville and Dr. John.  She performed "My Country 'Tis of Thee" at President Barack Obama's inauguration, where her fanciful hat received nearly as much attention as her vocal performance.

Franklin continued to release albums throughout the 2000s, including a 2014 album that featured her singing songs by other female artists including Adele, Barbra Streisand and Alicia Keys.  Her version of "Rolling in the Deep" gave her her 100th charted song on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Recently, Franklin had spoken of an album she'd been working on with Stevie Wonder, and early in 2018, it was announced that Jennifer Hudson would portray her in a biopic.

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Emma McIntyre/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Angela Bassett is celebrating a milestone birthday Thursday, and the actress says she's going to celebrate it it in style.

Bassett, who turns 60, tells ABC Radio she's planning a little get together to commemorate her born day -- but she's still a little uncertain about it all.

"I am hesitantly, tentatively, um, planning a party," Bassett says. "I am -- but I'm sort of like, 'Ummmm.' It's like, I don't want to do it, because -- and then I do want it. I don't want to miss it. You know?"

According to gossip site MTO News, Bassett will reportedly celebrate her birthday in Los Angeles with her husband, actor Courtney B. Vance, and friends Magic Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson.

Although Bassett didn't reveal who exactly is on her guest list, the actress says whomever decides to come to her party better be ready to let their hair down.

"Friends, family, yeah, and work associates. I'm with them all week," she laughs. "They come, they better get down. Don't stand on the perimeter. No, get right dead in the center. Show me what you got." 

Bassett currently stars opposite Tom Cruise in the box office smash Mission: Impossible -- Fallout.

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images via ABC(NEW YORK) -- Holiday!  Celebrate! Madonna is marking her 60th birthday today!

According to her Instagram, she appears to be celebrating her milestone in Marrakesh, Morocco.  But in the past year, she's made a major life change by moving herself and her four youngest children to Lisbon, Portugal.  As she told Vogue, "I like to put myself in uncomfortable situations and take risks."  That's pretty much what she's been doing her entire career.

"One of the things that always impressed me, personally, about Madonna is how courageous she is," says Dr. Jason Hanley, VP of Education for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  "She could have just laid back on a comfortable thing with the dance music she had started in, but she found new ways of thinking about her music."

"She innovated music videos...she innovated world tours and live stage shows in ways that people had not done before, these massive arena shows in the '80s," Hanley adds. "I think so many people try to be like Madonna now. ...I think Madonna has served as an icon for so many artists for years."

Explaining her presence in the Rock Hall, Hanley notes, "Madonna is somebody who continued to be so productive and innovative over the years....she really is somebody who pushed music forward." 

Madonna, the top-selling female recording artist of all time, will continue her journey later this year when she releases a brand-new album, inspired, she says, by the musicians she met in Portugal.  She's also been working with Mirwais [meer-WEH], the producer behind some of her biggest records of this millennium.  A world tour may follow, no doubt stuffed with spectacle and Madonna's trademark controversy.

Beyond her status as a singer, songwriter and producer, Madonna is also an actress, director, businesswoman and humanitarian.  For her 60th birthday, she's asked fans to donate to Raising Malawi, her charity foundation that helps orphans and vulnerable children in that African nation. The fundraiser, hosted on her Facebook page, runs through August 31.

Here's a handy list of just a few of some of Madonna's honors:

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee

Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee

20 MTV Video Music Awards, plus the MTV Artist of the Decade Award

16 Guinness World Records

Seven Grammy Awards

Five Billboard Music Awards

Three People's Choice Awards

Two Golden Globe Awards

Two Kids' Choice Awards

GLAAD Excellence in Media Award

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ABC/Lou Rocco(NEW YORK) -- Lena Dunham is commemorating the nine-month anniversary of her hysterectomy with a series of nude photos on Instagram.

The Girls creator posted three photos of her strategically censored naked body, along with a message about her recovery. She underwent the surgery last year after a lengthy struggle with endometriosis, a painful disorder in which tissue grows outside the uterus.

“Today is National Leathercraft Day, National Relaxation Day and National Lemon Meringue Pie Day. It's also the 9 month anniversary of my hysterectomy," Dunham wrote.

"I've never celebrated the 9 month anniversary of anything and I realized last night why that number feels so funny- I won't ever do it the way I planned to,” she continued, referencing the fact that she will never be able to carry a child.

Dunham added, “My body is mostly healed and every day I find a new bruise on my heart, but today I offer myself gratitude: from the most pained place, I somehow knew to choose myself. The purest glint of who we are and know we can be is always available to us, calm and true at our center."

She also explained a recent tattoo she got on her side that reads, “RIP Judy.”

"My friend Paul named my uterus Judy, and when she was being uppity we called her out, hence the tattoo on my ribs, which hurt like f*** even through the pain meds: #RIPJudy," she said.

"Today I give thanks for Judy, for her graceful exit and for this body, which is stronger than I've ever given it credit for. Happy Giving Birth To Myself Day."

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ABC Image Group LA(HOLLYWOOD) -- Viola Davis is a woman on a mission in the official trailer for the Steve McQueen's upcoming thriller Widows.

The film, set in today's Chicago, is an adaptation of the popular 1980s British series of the same name. It follows Davis' character Veronica, who, after her husband and his crew die trying to pull off a robbery, recruits fellow widows from the other crime families to finish the job.

“You have no idea, do you? Or did you choose not to know?” Brian Tyree Henry’s character tells Davis, referring to the money that was stolen from him. “This is about my life. And because it’s about my life, it now becomes about yours.”

Davis stars alongside Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez and Cynthia Erivo, who round out the widows and Davis' team.

Widows marks the first film for McQueen since his 12 Years a Slave won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2013. It hits theaters November 16.

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Ben Hassett(LOS ANGELES) -- Over the past few years, Emma Stone has accomplished things that most actresses only dream of, including taking home the Oscar in 2017 for her starring role in La La Land.

But recently, she's been relishing a quieter life away from the craziness of film sets, telling her pal Jennifer Lawrence in an interview for Elle magazine that she hasn't shot anything in six months.

To fill her time, the actress, who will turn 30 in November, has been traveling and spending time with the people she loves.

"I think it’s been a good time to get a little perspective, because things were so heavy work-wise for the past few years. And honestly, so many of my dreams are now personal and less professional," she says. "It’s less thinking about the next 10 years and what needs to happen and just sort of relaxing into what will be, instead of trying to control the outcome."

When pressed by Lawrence if she's hoping a husband and children might one day factor into her life, Stone -- who is not currently in a public romantic relationship -- says that she never expected it to, but she's thinking about it more now that she's approaching the big 3-0.

"My perspective about kids has changed as I've gotten older," she says. "I never babysat or anything. As a teenager, I was like, 'I’m never getting married, I’m never having kids.' And then I got older and I was like, 'I really want to get married, I really want to have kids."

"It’s the turning-30 thing where you’re like, 'I’m not that young,'" she continued. "I’m young, but I’m not that young."

Stone will next star in the upcoming Netflix miniseries, Maniac, which premieres September 21.

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Diondre Jones for Jones'n Photography(NEW YORK) -- September could be a life-changing month for Melvin Jackson Jr. and his wife, Kelly Jernette, who are both nominated for Emmys.

Jackson Jr. is nominated in the category of Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series for his web series This Eddie Murphy Role Is Mine Not Yours, while Jernette received an Emmy nod for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Annie in The Handmaid’s Tale.

Because the two are the first African-American couple to earn Emmy nods in the same year, they'll make history if they both end up winning. 

Jackson Jr. recalls the moment when he first learned they'd been nominated. 

"I was at work, actually," Jackson Jr. tells ABC Radio. "I was looking on the computer and I saw that the nominees and I went online and I was like, "Wow."

After getting over the initial shock, Melvin says he had an important call to make.

"I first had called my wife, because I saw she was nominated," he continues, "So I said, 'And you're nominated.' She said... 'What about you?' And she looked and she said, 'You're nominated as well.'"

That's when the news finally sank in, says Melvin: "So it was just a crazy moment to both share that moment and it was just like still kind of, you know, surreal like I have those 'ahhhh' moments for a minute."

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards will be held Monday, September 17 at 8 p.m. ET at LA's Microsoft Theater and broadcast live on NBC.

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Sanja Bucko/Warner Bros. Pictures(NEW YORK) -- Crazy Rich Asians is ready to share its wealth with moviegoers nationwide, starting today.

The film, based on the novel by Kevin Kwan, follows Chinese-American NYU professor Rachel Chu who finds out her boyfriend Nick Young is, well, crazy rich. When they fly to Singapore for his best friend’s wedding, Rachel is thrown into his family’s world of opulence, and judgment.

“It's just a really fun, heartwarming love story about culture and family and jealousy and all the stuff that often gets in the way of true love,” Constance Wu, who plays Rachel, tells ABC Radio. “But hopefully true love prevails!”

It’s a timeless romance, with handsome newcomer Henry Golding in the role of Nick. But the film is also making history as the first studio movie since 1993's The Joy Luck Club to tell a contemporary story with an all-Asian cast. Wu says she hopes it makes Hollywood more receptive to expanding Asian and Asian-American representation on the big screen.

“Diversity is just putting somebody there so it looks like you checked off a box,” she explains. “Representation is actually centering the narrative in a person of color's story so that you understand and explore what makes them different and special.”

There are two more books in Kwan’s series, so the movie franchise could conceivably continue to break barriers and stereotypes. Harry Shum Jr., who plays Charlie Wu, is looking forward to that.

“I make a cameo in hopes that the story continues 'cause my character definitely has an expansion,” he says. “But for me, I'm just happy to see these talented people be able to portray these characters beautifully.”

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Drew Angerer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Harvey Weinstein has failed in his attempt to get a judge to drop a sex trafficking suit filed against him by an aspiring actress.

Karina Noble alleges Weinstein sexually assaulted her in a Cannes hotel in 2014 after promising her film roles that never materialized.

In court documents obtained by ABC, on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Robert W. Sweet dismissed the lawsuit, writing, “Plaintiff has plausibly alleged that Harvey Weinstein, knowingly and in interstate commerce, enticed and or recruited her knowing that means of force, fraud, or a combination of the two, would be employed to cause her to engage in a commercial sex act.”

Weinstein’s lawyers filed for a dismissal of the case back in January, arguing Noble "fail[ed] to allege that she was caused to engage in a ‘commercial sex act,’ as neither she nor Weinstein paid or received anything of value in exchange for the alleged sex act.”

Sweet did, however, dismiss allegations against Harvey Weinstein's brother and movie production partner, Bob Weinstein, ruling Noble failed to prove that Bob was aware of or facilitated his brother’s alleged sexual misconduct.

Harvey Weinstein’s attorney, Phyllis Kupferstein, said that he would appeal the ruling, according to Variety.

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Sanja Bucko/Warner Bros. Pictures(NEW YORK) -- Opening in wide release Wednesday:

Crazy Rich Asians -- This highly anticipated romantic comedy -- the first Asian-led studio release since 1993's Joy Luck Club -- is based on Kevin Kwan's bestselling novel of the same name.  It follows a young Asian American woman, played by ABC's Fresh Off the Boat star Constance Wu, who travels to Singapore to meet her boyfriend's family, only to learn they're super rich. Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina, Kris Aquino, Lisa Lu, Nico Santos, Ken Jeong, and Michelle Yeoh also star. Rated PG-13.

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ABC/Ida Mae Astute(HOLLYWOOD) -- In what could be a match made in heaven, DreamWorks Pictures has dropped the first official trailer for Green Book, the upcoming film starring Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen as two unlikely friends.

The film follows Mortensen's Tony Lip, an Italian-American bouncer from the Bronx, who is hired to drive Ali's Dr. Don Shirley, a world-class African-American pianist, on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South. Together, the two must depend on "The Green Book," a guide that lists the few establishments safe for African-Americans. 

The comedy-drama, directed by Peter Farrelly, is said to be inspired by a true friendship that "transcended race, class and the 1962 Mason-Dixon line."

Meanwhile, Taraji P. Henson is front and center in the first trailer for her upcoming romantic comedy, What Men Want.

The film, which also stars Tracy Morgan and Underground alum Alidis Hodge, is a remake of the 2000 hit romantic comedy What Women Want, starring Mel Gibson.

In the original film, Gibson played a cocky chauvinist who mysteriously acquired the power to hear woman's thoughts, which of course drastically changed his understanding of women.

In the new version, Henson plays a female sports agent who suddenly gains the ability to hear men's thoughts and uses it to help her sign the next big NBA star.

Green Book hits theaters on November 21. What Men Want heads to the big screen on January 11, 2019.

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ABC/ Heidi Gutman(HOLLYWOOD) -- Kerry Washington has set up another project at Hulu.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Washington has signed on to star in and produce the series adaptation of Boom! Studios' 2011 graphic novel Old City Blues.  

The comic, set in 2048, takes place in New Athens, Greece, a place filled with "high-tech criminals including smugglers, drug dealers and corrupt politicians and powerful corporations."

It follows the New Athens Special Police, who work to keep the city safe following the death of a cyborg who founded a tech company.

There is no word on who Washington will play in potential series.

This is Washington's latest project at Hulu. The Scandal alum is also starring in and producing a limited-series adaptation of Little Fires Everywhere with Reese Witherspoon. 

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Courtesy of CBS TV Studios(LOS ANGELES) -- Star Trek's Mr. Spock, one of TV's most iconic characters, has been portrayed by the late Leonard Nimoy on TV and in the original Star Trek movie series, and by Zachary Quinto in the three recent Star Trek films. But now there's a new Vulcan in town.

TV actor Ethan Peck has been cast as Spock for season two of the CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery.  Discovery takes place a number of years before the original Star Trek, but the show's main character, Michael Burnham, is Spock's foster sister.  Yes, Michael is a woman; she's played by Sonequa Martin-Green.

The new season of Discovery, which will premiere in 2019, will feature the USS Discovery encountering the USS Enterprise, but during a time when the ship is under the command of Captain Christopher Pike, not Captain Kirk.  Spock served as the science officer of the Enterprise under Pike.

Peck, the grandson of legendary actor Gregory Peck, has appeared on Madame Secretary, Gossip Girl and That '70s Show.  Discovery's executive producer Alex Kurtzman says in a statement, "We searched for months for an actor who would...effortlessly embody Spock’s greatest qualities, beyond obvious logic: empathy, intuition, compassion, confusion, and yearning."

According to Kurtzman, Peck "walked into the room inhabiting all of these qualities...and ready to confront the challenge in the service of protecting and expanding on Spock’s legacy. In that spirit, we’re thrilled to welcome him to the family.”

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ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua(NEW YORK) -- Actor Mark Wahlberg stopped by Good Morning America Tuesday to chat about his upcoming film, Mile 22, and his life as a family man.

Wahlberg, a father of four, recently celebrated his nine-year wedding anniversary with his wife, model Rhea Durham. The pair celebrated with a day of shopping at the Chanel store, he said.

"Anything my wife wants," Wahlberg told GMA. "Happy wife, happy life and she deserves it. She's done such an amazing job with allowing me to go and pursue my passions. And raising four kids is not an easy thing."

The two are parents to 14-year-old Ella, 12-year-old Michael, nine-year-old Brendan and eight-year-old Grace.

As for Mile 22, it stars Wahlberg as a CIA operative leading a small paramilitary team on a dangerous mission. He shared that the movie's unexpected ending was necessary.

"The good guys don't always win but that leaves an opportunity for us to get them the next time around," he said.

Mile 22, also starring Lauren Cohan and Ronda Rousey, is in theaters this Friday.

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Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images(DETROIT) -- Following a report that Aretha Franklin was "gravely ill,"  People magazine has now confirmed that the Queen of Soul may not be with us for very much longer.

A longtime friend tells People that the 76-year-old music legend is very sick, and her death is "imminent," adding, "She has been ill for a long time. She did not want people to know and she didn’t make it public.”

On Monday, Evrod Cassimy, a TV news anchor in Franklin's hometown of Detroit, tweeted, "I am so saddened to report that the Queen of Soul and my good friend, Aretha Franklin is gravely ill. I spoke with her family members this morning. She is asking for your prayers at this time."

Later that same day, he tweeted, "Just got a chance to speak to Aretha Franklin. She is resting and surrounded by close friends and family."

Franklin's health problems have been going on for nearly a decade. In 2010, she had surgery for a tumor, but the following year, she denied it was related to pancreatic cancer, as had been rumored. 

In May of 2013, she canceled two shows to undergo undisclosed medical treatment, and then continued to cancel shows in June, July, August and September of that year.  Later that year, she claimed she'd had a "miraculous recovery," but didn't reveal what her illness was.

In 2017, Franklin canceled more shows due to health reasons, and told an audience, "Keep me in your prayers."  She also canceled shows this year under doctor's orders. Her most recent performance was in November of 2017, when she sang at the Elton John AIDS Foundation gala in New York City. She appeared to have lost an alarming amount of weight.

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