The Queen of Soul's significant estate may become a bone of contention between family members
Aretha Franklin's death shook the globe as millions mourned the loss of the Queen of Soul. However, among the tears and tributes, it seems her family are embarking on a legal feud for the superstar's wealth following reports the 76-year-old did not make a will.
Aretha Franklin passed away from pancreatic cancer
The RESPECT hitmaker's £60 million estate was expected to be split equally between her four sons but now Willie Wilkerson, Aretha's long term on-off lover, says he deserves a piece too.
Wilkerson, 71, first met the legendary musician at a meet-and-greet with fans in Detroit in the 1980s, when they sparked a "fiery" relationship.
They called off an engagement in 2011 but they continued to see each other until she lost her battle with pancreatic cancer and Aretha has been known to describe the fireman as her "forever friend".
The Sun has reported Aretha's two eldest Clarence, 63, and Edward, 62, feel like he deserves "something" for the time they spent together.
However, an unnamed source told the Express, her youngest children - Ted White Jr, 54, and Kecalf, 48 - think he used her as a "meal ticket" and only wants her money.
Many have been shocked the singing legend did not write a will. It was also revealed, though Aretha's records were played millions of times, she earned little in radio royalties from smashes including 1967's Respect, her attorney Don Wilson said.
This is because such payments go overwhelmingly to the song's author, not the performer.
In the case of Respect, the royalties go to the estate of Otis Redding, even though the song owes nearly all its popularity to Franklin.
Wilson added: "I would imagine she probably felt she was entitled to more but probably received more than a lot of artists from the time, especially African-American artists."
The star - whose funeral was held on Friday (31 August) in her hometown of Detriot - will be buried in a 24-karat gold plated Promethean casket made of solid bronze and a host of singers paid tribute to her amazing back catalouge.
Stevie Wonder dedicated his song, I'll Be Loving You Aways, to Aretha, Arian Grande sang (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and Jennifer Hudson sang Amazing Grace.