According to a news report by TMZ, music legend Aretha Franklin died without a will.
Documents obtained by the news outlet reveal that the iconic singer died intestate at age 76 and her estate was reportedly worth $80 million. This amount could substantially increase as Franklin’s music has seen a surge in popularity since her death.
According to TMZ, Franklin had no financial preparations in place at the time of her death. The outlet also reported that one of Franklin’s sons, Clarence, has special needs and will require financial support for the rest of his life.
The singer was a mother to Clarence, 63, Edward, 61, Ted White Jr., 54, and Kecalf Cunningham, 48.
“Her sons have all been involved in her career,” a family insider allegedly told Radar Online. Radar reported that Franklin’s sons will “fight tooth and nail to keep their mother’s money in the family.”
Radar also reported that a source close to Wilkerson allegedly told Radar he believes it’s only fair he receive a portion of her estate, considering the two were a couple for 30 years and engaged once in 2012.
Franklin’s sons quickly became worried that the man in their mother’s life would want to steal their hefty inheritance, alleges the Radar report.
Following the news of her death, the Franklin family said in a statement, as reported by TMZ, “In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our hearts. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family.”
A memorial for the Queen of Soul will be held in Detroit next week. Radar Online has reported that Franklin is to be buried clutching a gold microphone and dressed in one of her trademark fur coats. The site reported that the singer will be cloaked in a white fur to represent “the purity of her angelic voice.”
The family will hold an open casket viewing, available to family and friends, on Aug. 28 and Aug. 29 at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
Franklin will be entombed at Detroit’s Woodlawn Cemetery alongside her father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, brother Cecil Franklin, sisters Carolyn and Erma Franklin and nephew Thomas Garrett.
People Magazine reported that Franklin scored 77 Hot 100 chart entries and earned an astounding 18 Grammys out of 44 nominations.
In 1987, two decades after her first chart-topper, Franklin became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and was later named the Greatest Singer of All Time by Rolling Stone Magazine.