Today's R&B and Old School

Today's R&B and Old School


Aretha Franklin Reportedly "gravely ill"

Aretha Franklin 'gravely ill': reports

The "Queen of Soul," legendary singer and songwriter Aretha Franklin, is gravely ill, according to multiple reports.

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Family members confirmed the news Monday to WDIV-TV after a report from entertainment site Showbiz411 claimed Franklin, 76, was being surrounded by friends and family in Detroit.

Tom Joyner, a nationally syndicated radio host and friend of Franklin’s, said Monday that Franklin has been in hospice care for a week, according to The Detroit News.

Celebrities, friends and fans took to social media with well-wishes for Franklin:

Franklin had announced plans to retire from touring in February 2017 to focus on her family and a few select projects, the News reported.

"I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from, and where it is now,” Franklin told WDIV in 2017. “I'll be pretty much satisfied, but I'm not going to go anywhere and just sit down and do nothing. That wouldn't be good either.”

Franklin has canceled several concerts this year due to health issues, Fox13Memphis reported. According to The Associated Press, “she was ordered by her doctor to stay off the road and rest up.”

She performed  in her hometown of Detroit in June 2017, the Detroit Free Press reported. She ended the concert with an appeal for those in the crown to, “Please keep me in your prayers,” according to the newspaper.

>> Photos: Aretha Franklin through the years

She last performed in November at Elton John’s AIDS Foundation gala in New York City, the News reported.

Franklin was born March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee. Her family moved to Detroit when she was young, according to Fox13Memphis.

Franklin started singing when she was young, with encouragement from her mother, Barbara, and her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin. She started out singing gospel but launched a career in secular music after she turned 18. She rose to fame after signing in 1967 with Atlantic Records.

Franklin’s career, spanning six decades, has spawned hits including “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “Chain of Fools.” She’s considered one of the best-selling artists of all time, selling more than 75 million albums worldwide.

Franklin was inducted in 1987 to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She’s earned 18 Grammy Awards and a Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work. In 2005, then-President George W. Bush described Franklin as “a woman of achievement, deep character and a loving heart.”

Check back for updates to this developing story.

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