Following years of health problems, legendary singer Aretha Franklin is reportedly “gravely ill,” and according to sources who have spoken TMZ, doctors have informed the singer’s family that today is the day “Aretha will pass.”
Entertainment reporter Roger Friedman of Showbiz 411 first reported last night, “She is gravely ill in Detroit. The family is asking for prayers and privacy.” Detroit news anchor Evrod Cassimy confirmed the news this morning, tweeting, “I am so saddened to report that the Queen of Soul and my good friend, Aretha Franklin, is gravely ill. I spoke with her family members this morning. She is asking for your prayers at this time. I’ll have more details as I’m allowed to release.” Radio host Tom Joyner also added this morning that Franklin has been in hospice care for a week.
The 76-year-old “Queen Of Soul” has contended with multiple health issues over the years, especially during the last decade. She was forced to cancel shows in 2010 to have surgery on a tumor, the nature of which was undisclosed. She also canceled more shows in 2013 and 2017 for health reasons. This year, she canceled shows in March due to doctor’s orders, as she was urged to “stay off the road and rest completely for at least the next two months.”
Franklin also announced her retirement from touring in February, but said she would continue to record new music: “I am retiring this year. I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it. […] I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now. 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.”
The singer’s career is filled with numerous accolades: Songs like “Respect” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” are legendary, she became the first female to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1987, and she has sold over 75 million albums worldwide. Her latest album of original material, Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics, was released in 2014. Most recently, she was working on a new album with some songs produced by Stevie Wonder.