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Mert & MarcusDuring last year's MTV Video Music Awards, Taylor Swift premiered her instantly-iconic video for "Look What You Made Me Do."  But when the nominations for this year's VMAs came out, "Look What You Made Me Do" was nowhere to be found in any of the top categories -- its only nominations are in the technical categories, like best editing. 

Now, the guys behind the show admit they're just as surprised as the fans are that Taylor didn't have a better showing this year.

The show's executive producers, Jesse Ignjatovic and Bruce Gillmer, tell Entertainment Tonight that "it is somewhat surprising" that Taylor didn't get a nod for Video of the Year or Best Pop Video.  Gillmer adds, "We love Taylor...we have strong relationships with her and her camp."

Ignjatovic says, "It was an amazing video, so I wish she had nominations and I wish she was [at the show] because I'm a huge fan. She's such an integral part of the VMAs and MTV, so I wish."

Gillmer said the awards are "voted on by a wide range of people," so the nominations can be unpredictable.

It's not know if Taylor will attend Monday night's ceremony.  Her friend and Reputation tour opening act, Camila Cabello, is up for a slew of awards, so perhaps they'll attend together. Meanwhile, you'll see performances from Shawn Mendes, Ariana Grande, Ryan Tedder and Jennifer Lopez, among others.

The MTV VMAs air Monday night at 9 p.m. ET/PT, live from Radio City Music Hall in New York.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Streamline/Kon Live/Cherrytree/InterscopeAugust 19, 2008 was the day the world got its first full-length look at Lady Gaga, as her debut album, The Fame, arrived.  Gaga is marking that milestone with special merch for her fans, as well as a "digital time capsule" and a 10th anniversary limited version of the album.

The Fame spun off the hit singles "Just Dance," "Paparazzi," "Poker Face" and "LoveGame," won Gaga a Grammy and has sold close to five million copies.  The reissue, The Fame Monster, which came out in November of that year, featured eight new songs, including "Bad Romance," "Telephone," and "Alejandro."

The $50 limited edition version of the album comes on a USB that's shaped like a cartoon image of Gaga, packaged in a collectible display box. It features the original album The Fame and three bonus tracks, as well as The Fame Monster, both digital booklets, eight music videos and an early electronic press kit shot just as Gaga was beginning her rise to stardom.  It's now available for pre-order on Gaga's website.

In addition, you can get The Fame and The Fame Monster on vinyl, as well as a number of t-shirts with The Fame artwork, Gaga's former "electric bolt" logo, and images of her iconic sunglasses from the album cover.

As for the "digital time capsule," it's a collection of videos, images and quotes from Gaga around the time that The Fame and The Fame Monster were released.  One sample quote: "I would not be able to breathe if I couldn't make art."

Gaga is expected to release the soundtrack of her movie A Star Is Born in the coming months; the film itself arrives in theaters in October.

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Dave Meyers/Republic RecordsIt seems Ariana Grande has included a subtle tribute to the Manchester bombing victims on her new album Sweetener.

Fans noticed that at the end of the album’s final track, “Get Well Soon,” Ariana included 40 seconds of silence, which brings the song’s run time to 5 minutes and 22 seconds. The significance? May 22 -- 5/22 -- is the date the terror attack took place last year.

“the fact ariana honored the Manchester victims in get well soon allowing a moment of silence until it was 5 minutes 22 seconds long, I just don't have the words right now. she has my entire heart,” one fan wrote on Twitter.

Another tweeted, “Ariana’s new album is amazing. The silence at the end of the album to make the last song be 5 minutes and 22 seconds has me tearing up.”

Ariana previously said “Get Well Soon” was a track about her anxiety following the attack – which took place after her concert in Manchester, England. 22 people were killed.

She further explained the meaning of the song on Apple Music’s Beats 1 Friday, through tears.

"It’s just f****d, so I just wanted to do something to make people feel good and less alone,” she said. “It’s not just about [Manchester]. It’s also about personal demons and anxiety and more intimate tragedies as well.”

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Def Jam RecordingsLogic has released a poignant and timely new video for his song with Ryan Tedder, “One Day.”

The video tackles issues of immigration, family separation and white supremacy. It begins with a Mexican family being detained the border, and the children separated from the parents.

One of the children goes on to live with an American foster family. We see him through the years, as he works hard to excel in school and eventually becomes a doctor.

As the immigrant child's journey plays out, we also see the child of a white supremacist family whose life takes a darker path. In the end, when the white supremacist’s violent ways result in him being injured, he finds himself an the operating table, his life in the hands of the Mexican doctor.

The clip features appearances by Michael Peña, Judy Reyes and Luis Guzman.

On Monday, Logic and Ryan Tedder will perform “One Day” on the MTV Video Music Awards.

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Epic RecordsIf you're looking for a new house in a vacation destination, Meghan Trainor's childhood home could be right for you.

Page Six reports that Meghan's parents are selling their house on Nantucket, Mass., an island 30 miles south of Cape Cod.  According to the website, Meghan's parents are selling the place so they can move to Los Angeles to be closer to their Grammy-winning daughter and two sons. 

The four-bedroom, five and a half bathroom home has a price tag of $1.68 million. It features a vaulted ceiling, a dining room with French doors, a deck, a master bathroom with a walk-in closet and a Jacuzzi tub in the attached bathroom, an eat-in kitchen, an outdoor shower and a finished basement with a billiards room and a separate playroom.

Meghan's new album Treat Myself will be out later this year.

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Daniel MessemerOMI, the Jamaican artist who had the Song of the Summer back in 2015 with “Cheerleader,” is back with new music.

The singer has released another collaboration with Felix Jaehn, the same German producer who remixed “Cheerleader” into a number one hit. It's a new, upbeat track called “Masterpiece,” about encouraging women to love themselves for who they are.

“’Cause every time I look at you I’m looking at a masterpiece/ If you’re trying to be perfect, you don’t have to be,” OMI sings.

Despite the success of “Cheerleader,” OMI and DJ Felix only met for the first time while recording “Masterpiece.”

"There were just really good vibes. There was no ego,” OMI tells Billboard of their studio session. “We were bouncing ideas off of each other. Making this [record]. everybody was giving their best to make it all that it could be. That is just an awesome feeling.”

OMI’s follow-up album to  his album Me 4 U is on the way, though he has yet to reveal its release date or title. But he says that fans will really see his “growth and development” on the project.

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ABC/Paula LoboBefore he releases his debut solo album, Liam Payne is putting out an EP.

The singer announced on social media Friday that the debut solo EP will be called First Time and will be dropping next week, on August 24. It's available for pre-order now. The lead single, the EP's title track, features French Montana.

He explained to fans why he’s releasing an EP before a full-length length collection, which he had previously promised would be out in September.

"As you may know, the last few months have seen some big changes for me," he wrote. "I looked at some of the songs on my album which were done a while ago and they felt from another age.”

He continued, “I'm determined for my debut album to truly represent me. I'm now back in the studio working hard to finalize the final few new songs on the record -- I'm genuinely excited about the music I'm writing and recording and I can't wait for it to be ready for you all."

In the meantime, though, Liam says this EP is “a collection of songs that I’m really proud of and want you all to hear.”

As for those “big changes” he mentioned, he could be referring to his split with Cheryl Cole last month, the mother of his one-year-old son, Bear.

Here is the First Time track list:

"First Time"
"Home With You"
"Depend On It"

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Columbia RecordsThey promised, and they delivered: Sam Smith and Calvin Harris have dropped their new collab “Promises,” along with a lyric video for the track.

On the disco-influenced late summer jam -- written by Sam, Calvin and Jessie Reyez – Sam sings about wanting a steamy hookup that probably won’t lead to anything more.

“I make no promises/ I can’t do golden rings/ But I’ll give you everything/ Magic is in the air/ There ain’t no science here/ So come get your everything,” he sings.

The collaboration follows Calvin’s hit song “One Kiss” with Dua Lipa.

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Songwriter, a documentary about Ed Sheeran directed by his cousin Murray Cummings, is coming to Apple Music on August 28, but it hits theaters in New York City Friday.  The movie follows Ed as he writes songs for his smash album, Divide, but there's one song you don't get to see him write -- his biggest hit, "Shape of You."  Why?  Because Ed just couldn't leave well enough alone.

"He had finished the album, the album was done and it was handed in, the record label had it, and so I flew home," Murray tells ABC Radio. "And then I get a message [from Ed], 'Hey, I've written a new song!' and I'm like, "Noooo! I wasn't there!"

So Murray ended up recruiting his brother Billy to fly from Ireland to England, just to get some footage of the next best thing: Ed mixing "Shape of You" in the studio.

But you do see Ed writing many other songs from Divide, and also penning the Justin Bieber smash "Love Yourself."  But since Murray's been filming Ed for the past 10 years and has so much footage, why did he choose to make a movie focusing on his cousin's songwriting process?

"I think he had done a lot of other TV projects...a lot of his story was out there," Murray explains. "I just felt like a lot was covered. And then I thought, 'What could I do that these camera crews couldn't do?' And then I was like, 'Well, they weren't there when the songs were written...I was the only guy in the room.'"

Now that the documentary is out, though, will Murray's next project be serving as the videographer at Ed's upcoming wedding to his fiancée, Cherry Seaborn?

"No," laughs Murray. "I'm gonna be drinking at the wedding!"

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Andrew Lipovsky/NBCAriana Grande reportedly broke down in tears following a performance of Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" on Thursday's The Tonight Show.

Grande performed the song as a tribute to Franklin, who died earlier Thursday at age 76 from advanced pancreatic cancer.

Sources tell TMZ that Grande was scheduled to appear on The Tonight Show but only to participate in a sketch with Fallon -- not to perform. In light of Franklin's death though, producers asked Ariana if she would perform one of Aretha's songs to honor her.

Grande reportedly said no at first, explaining that she was "too emotional" after hearing about Franklin's death. However, Questlove, the drummer and leader of Fallon's house band, The Roots, convinced Ariana to perform a song with the band.

The "No Tears Left to Cry" singer managed to pull herself together in time for her sit-down with Fallon, during which she shared memories of the late singer, whom she said she'd met "a few times."

"We sang at the White House and she was so sweet and she was like, so cute," says Grande, who remembered her reaction to meeting Aretha was, "How are you real?"

"I was an honor to have met her and we're gonna celebrate her," added Grande.

On a lighter note, Ariana used the rest of her segment as a "mini listening party," during which Jimmy played snippets of several songs from Sweetener, including, "Breathin'," "Pete Davidson," -- dedicated to the Saturday Night Live castmember to whom she was recently engaged -- and "R.E.M.'," a piece of which she sang live, backed by The Roots.

Sweetener, which dropped at midnight, is now available to stream.

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Monday night, it's the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards, and YouTube -- one of the most popular platforms for viewing music videos -- is predicting that the night's big winners will include Camila Cabello, Drake, Dua Lipa and Cardi B.

YouTube is making those predictions based on each official video's views by fans worldwide between July 1, 2017 to July 1, 2018.  For the categories of Best New Artist and Artist of the Year, YouTube calculated each nominees' total views during that eligibility period.

Here are YouTube's predictions in the top categories:

Video of the Year: Drake – “God's Plan”

Artist of the Year: Camila Cabello

Song of the Year: Dua Lipa – “New Rules”

Best New Artist: Cardi B

Best Collaboration: Bebe Rexha ft. Florida Georgia Line – “Meant to Be”

Best Pop Video: Ed Sheeran – “Perfect”

Best Hip Hop Video: Drake – “God's Plan”

Best Dance Video: Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa – “One Kiss”

Best Latin Video: J Balvin – “Mi Gente” [ft. Willy William]

Best Rock Video: Imagine Dragons – “Whatever It Takes”

In addition, YouTube has rounded up the stats for Jennifer Lopez, who'll receive this year's Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.  She scored over 980 million views this year alone.  Here are her top five videos of all time, with the total views::

1. "On The Floor" ft. Pitbull: 1.2 billion

2. "Ain't Your Mama": 620 million

3. "Dance Again ft. Pitbull": 442 million

4. "Papi": 342 million

5. "Booty ft. Iggy Azalea": 283 million

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Getty Images via ABCBritney Spears has been ordered to hand over a big chunk of change to her ex-husband Kevin Federline in their continued battle over child support, E! News reports.

According to court documents obtained by E!, the singer must pay Federline $110,000 towards his legal fees.

This is the latest ruling in the ongoing child support case over their two sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James. Back in March, Federline requested an increase in the $20,000 payment he receives each month from Britney.

He sought the increase, according to legal documents, because "the kids are older and the financial circumstances of the parties are significantly different than when the child support was originally resolved."

In May, he filed legal documents requesting that Britney cover his attorney's fees, in addition to the increase in child support. 

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Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images via ABCJustin Bieber is a big brother again.

The singer’s father, Jeremy, welcomed a baby girl with his wife Chelsey on Thursday. The healthy little girl, named Bay, arrived at 8:30 a.m.

Justin posted a photo of baby Bay on Instagram, writing, “Meet the newest bieber, my little sister BAY BIEBER.”

Jeremy and Chelsey got married in Jamaica this past February, and following their nuptials, announced that they were expecting their first child together.  Notably, Justin attended the wedding with Selena Gomez, not his fiancee, Hailey Baldwin.

Jeremy is also dad to 8-year-old Jaxon and 9-year-old Jazmyn with his ex Erin Wagner.

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Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC ImagesMadonna is celebrating her 60th birthday today by releasing a never-before-seen video of her 2018 MET Gala performance.

The performance, witnessed exclusively by guests of the star-studded soiree back in May, is now on YouTube for all to experience.

Following the MET Gala’s theme of “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” the performance begins with religious imagery and chanting monks. Madonna appears in a hooded monk’s robe at the top of the museum’s stairs and launches into “Like a Prayer.”

She then removes to the robe to reveal a white, Joan of Arc-inspired outfit and begins singing a new track, “Beautiful Game,” while surrounded by female dancers also dressed in white. For her final song, she sings a haunting cover of Leonard Cohen's “Hallelujah.”

And as previously announced, Madonna is also raising money for the children Malawi in honor of her birthday. Madonna teamed up with Facebook and Ripple -- a global payment company -- to encourage fans to donate to Raising Malawi, her charity foundation that helps orphans and vulnerable children in that African nation. The fundraiser runs until August 31.

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ABC/Image Group LASelena Gomez has been dropping hints about her new album on Instagram.

During an Instagram Live session, the singer and her friend Raquelle Stevens answered questions from fans regarding what they can expect from her follow-up to 2015’s Revival.

“I think my new record is very honest, but playful and I felt like creatively it’s in a really great direction,” Selena said. “I just wanted it to feel like what is going on [in my head], which is a lot.”

She also teased there will be “tons” of collaborations on the new record, but of course, she couldn’t reveal any of them just yet.

Selena almost shared some song titles and snippet of a track off the album, but Raquelle convinced her to keep it a surprise.

“I’m sorry, I’m so anxious ‘cause I just wanna play my music and it sounds really fun,” she said. “I’m not done, but I’m basically done.”

Between Revival and now, Selena has released a string of stand-alone singles, including "Bad Liar," "It Ain't Me," "Fetish," "Wolves," and her current track "Back to You," from the 13 Reasons Why soundtrack.

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Epic RecordsCamila Cabello has released a new version of her song “Real Friends,” and this time around, she’s brought a friend.

The remixed track now features Swae Lee of Rae Sremmurd, who contributes the second verse and some auto-tuned vocals throughout.

In the lyrics, Camila laments the difficulty of finding friends you can trust, singing, “I’m just looking for some real friends/All they ever do is let me down/Every time I let somebody in/Then I find out what they’re all about.”

“Real Friends” originally appeared on Camila’s self-titled debut solo album.

Camila also posted a mini tour diary video to Instagram, with a sweet message calling her fans her “real friends.”

“So #RealFriends is coming out tonight and I wanted to post a special tour diary that we made for the never be the same tour, it made me emo watching it, and i mean every word with all my heart,” she writes.

“i love you, you guys are forever my real friends.”

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Taylor Hill/Getty ImagesCelebrities from all genres of music --and presidents -- are reacting to the death of Aretha Franklin, the music icon and undisputed Queen of Soul, who died on Thursday from advanced pancreatic cancer. She was 76.  Here's a sampling:

Clive Davis, who signed Aretha to Arista Records in 1980:  "I’m absolutely devastated by Aretha’s passing. She was truly one of a kind. She was more than the Queen of Soul. She was a national treasure to be cherished by every generation throughout the world."

Paul McCartney: "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"

Elton John, friend and duet partner: "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."

The Rolling Stones: "Very sad to hear the news about Aretha, she was so inspiring and wherever you were she always brought you to church."

Bette Midler: "The greatest voice in American popular music has been stilled. Our beloved #ArethaFranklin has gone. For me, she was a musical lighthouse, guiding and inspiring with every note. I loved her so and love her still. Goodbye, Queen of Soul." 

Gene Simmons of KISS: "So sad. Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul has passed away. Our prayers and condolences to family, friends and fans."

Slash of Guns N' Roses: "Undoubtedly one of the greatest of ALL time, RIP #ArethaFranklin."

Cyndi Lauper: "Thank you for all the music and all those beautiful notes that inspired me growing up and all through my life. Rip my love to her family. Thank you for sharing her with us."

Barbra Streisand: "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"

Diana Ross: "I'm sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin." 

Smokey Robinson: "This morning my longest friend in this world went home to be with our Father. I will miss her so much but I know she’s at peace. #QueenOfSoul"

Lenny Kravitz: "The Queen of Soul has left this earth to sit on her throne in heaven. How blessed we were to hear the best that God had to offer in her voice. RESPECT!"

Kelly Clarkson: "Aretha Franklin is the reason why I sing from that part deep inside of me that few could ever reach. She was my favorite and will always be. What a gift she has left all of us with her musical footprints. There will never be another like her. She was truly special. #QueenOfSoul."

John Legend: "Salute to the Queen. The greatest vocalist I've ever known."

Sam Moore of Sam & Dave: "Aretha Franklin and I have been friends and label mates for more than sixty years. I adored her and I know the feelings were mutual. While I’m heartbroken that she’s gone I know she’s in the Lord's arms and she’s not in pain or suffering anymore from the damn cancer that took her away from us. I’m going to hope, pray and count on the fact that I will see her again sometime. Rest in the Lord's arms in love, Re."

Lionel Richie: "Her voice; her presence; her style No one did it better Truly the Queen of Soul I will miss you!"

Tony Bennett:  "It was a double thrill for me to perform on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera on my 85th birthday and have the Queen of Soul (and heart) Aretha Franklin singing with me....she will be missed by the world."

Nile Rodgers: "I just finished interviews in Berlin, and was informed the mighty @ArethaFranklin has passed. RIPArethaFranklin #QueenofSoul"

Anita Baker: "Queen... My Queen." 

Annie Lennox , duet partner: "As the One and Only ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin was simply peerless. She has reigned supreme. and will always be held in the highest firmament of stars as the most exceptional vocalist, performer and recording artist the world has ever been privileged to witness. Superlatives are often used to describe astonishing artists, but in my view even superlatives seem insufficient. Everyone who loved Aretha will be saying little prayers of gratitude, appreciation and respect for the musical life force that has enriched our lives. Her voice will soar on forever."

The Band's Robbie Robertson: "When the legendary Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler told me that he had recorded, The Weight with Aretha Franklin, I thought, how does it get better than that? When I heard their version, I was thrilled that she sang the hell out of it and had Duane Allman on slide guitar. A dream come true. Aretha doesn’t scream, squall, or yell, she SINGS— from the heavens with grace and style.
Sending blessings and appreciations to the Queen."

Hugh Jackman: "One of the highlights of my career was singing with #ArethaFranklin at The Tony Awards. It was an out of body experience for me. One of greatest singers of all time. You will be missed by all"

Fergie: "RESPECT. Her legendary voice came straight from God. Now her soul is with Him. Thank you Aretha"

Jamie Lee Curtis: "R E S P E C T"

Arcade Fire's Win Butler:  Aretha was the greatest of all time. Played 3 songs in a row at my set in Berlin night before last...her music will live forever.

Elvis Costello: "No words worthy."

Liam Gallagher: RIP Aretha Franklin what a voice

Maxwell: "this morning we lost an icon a legend a voice a musician an activist: her soul lives on may you sleep in heavenly peace ms. franklin.”

The Obamas: "...Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, Aretha helped define the American experience.  In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade—our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect.  She helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human.  And sometimes she helped us just forget about everything else and dance....May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace.  Michelle and I send our prayers and warmest sympathies to her family and all those moved by her song. 

Donald Trump: "The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, is dead. She was a great woman, with a wonderful gift from God, her voice. She will be missed!"

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Raymond Hall/GC ImagesIf you thought Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s engagement after a few weeks of dating was fast, turns out it could have happened even faster.

Pete tells GQ magazine that he would’ve proposed to Ariana after just a day.

"The day I met her, I was like, 'Hey, I'll marry you tomorrow,'" he says. "She was calling my bluff. I sent her a picture [of engagement rings]. I was like, 'Do you like any of these?' She was like, 'Those are my favorite ones,' and I was like, 'Sick.'"

The SNL star ended up proposing with a $93,000 pear-shaped diamond in June. The couple recently moved into an New York City apartment that reportedly cost $16 million.

"She's really sweet. She's like, 'This is our house,' and I'm like, 'You're very nice for saying that. Thank you for letting me stay here,'" he jokes. "She's like, 'We're getting married!' And I'm like, 'I know, thank you for letting me stay here.'"

Up next for the two – after Ariana drops her album Sweetener on Friday, of course – is decorating their apartment and starting the wedding planning.

"It's like, we have six beanbags, but we have no forks—you know what I mean?" he says. "We're learning how to be adults. We're having a really fun time."

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Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images 

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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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. If you think of how many artists that are out there -- whether it's a Demi Lovato or even a Taylor Swift -- a lot of artists are trying to achieve that...and 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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