Aretha Franklin Reportedly 'Gravely Ill,' Family Asking for Prayers

Aretha Franklin, the 76-year-old Queen of Soul, is reportedly "gravely ill" and her family is asking for prayers, according to ShowBiz411.

The site reports that Franklin is surrounded by her family and friends in Detroit.

Later, family members confirmed Franklin is "gravely ill" to ClickOnDetroit and the Associated Press.

The news comes eight years after the "Respect" singer was first diagnosed with cancer. She made her final performance for an Elton John AIDS Foundation benefit in New York on Nov. 2, 2017. He most recent public performance came in August 2017 at the Mann Center in Philadelphia.

Franklin was scheduled to make two more performances earlier this year, but they were canceled due to health concerns. One show in Newark, New Jersey was scheduled for her birthday. The other was a performance at the legendary New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in April. She also had concerts in Boston and Toronto planned for June.

"Aretha Franklin has been ordered by her doctor to stay off the road and rest completely for at least the next two months," her management said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly in March. "She is extremely disappointed she cannot perform at this year's New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival as she had expected and hoped to."

Franklin previously told ClickOnDetroit in February 2017 that she planned to retire from performing, aside from occasional major events. She also planned to record one more album.

Franklin has been dogged by rumors of health problems for years. In November 2017, a Twitter death hoax went viral before her management confirmed she had not died.

The "(You Make Me Feel) Like A Natural Woman" singer recorded her most recent album in 2014. In 2016, she released A Brand New Me, a collection of vocal recordings with new arrangements from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

A film about Franklin is also in the works, with Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson getting an endorsement to star. The project will be produced by Straight Outta Compton's Scott Bernstein and Dreamgirls producer Harvey Mason Jr. The long-gestating project will reportedly be based on Franklin's 1999 memoir Aretha: From These Roots.

Franklin's legendary music career began in 1956 and reached unprecedented heights in the late 1960s and 1970s thanks to hit singles like "Respect," "(You Make Me Feel) Like a Natural Woman," "Think" and "Spanish Harlem." She has won 18 Grammy Awards and is a member of the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame and the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Franklin was married and divorced twice, and has four children.


Franklin's other hit recordings include "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man," "Chain of Fools," "The Thrill Is Gone," "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," "See Saw," "Son of a Preacher Man" and "Rock Steady." In 2014, she found another success with a cover of Adele's "Rolling In The Deep."

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