Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin is reported to be “gravely ill.”
According to Roger Friedman’s Showbiz411.com, the 76-year-old is home in Detroit, Michigan battling for her life around the support and prayers of family and friends.
“She is gravely ill in Detroit. The family is asking for prayers and privacy,” the site reports. “Aretha is surrounded by family and people close to her. She will be so missed as a mother, sister, friend, cousin. But her legacy is larger than life. It’s not just that Rolling Stone called her the number 1 singer of all time, or that she is the Queen of Soul. Long live the Queen.”
NBC Philadelphia reporter Harry Hairston also tweeted, “Spoke with close friend of Aretha Franklin and family. Iconic singer not doing well.”
In 2010, Franklyn fought off a bout of cancer when she secretly underwent surgery to remove a tumor, but her efforts to keep the news private prompted premature death reports in 2011, following claims she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
At the start of 2017, the Respect hitmaker announced she was retiring from touring, and her final public performance took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that August, although she also sung at the Elton John AIDS Foundation benefit in New York in November.
Earlier this year, the soul legend was forced to cancel a string of shows as she had been “ordered by her doctor to stay off the road and rest completely for at least the next two months.”
Over the course of her career, Franklin released a total of 112 singles which landed on the Billboard chart, including 77 Hot 100 entries, and twenty number-one R&B singles, making her the most-charted female artist in the chart’s history at the time, with hits including Respect, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, Spanish Harlem, and Think.
Franklin is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, and has won 20 Grammys throughout her career, including three special honors – the Legend Award in 1991, the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994, and the MusiCares Person of the Year in 2008. She also made history by becoming the first female performer to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
Our prayers are with Ms. Franklin!