Aretha Franklin, Iconic Singer, Is Said to Be Gravely Ill

Queen of Soul is 76, won 18 Grammy Awards, is the mother of four sons and was the first female artist inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Image Credit: MOLLY RILEY / AFP / Getty Images

Reports are emerging Monday morning that Aretha Franklin, who is 76 years old, is said to be “seriously ill” and in the hospital in Detroit — and that her family is “asking for prayers and privacy.”

Roger Friedman, an entertainment reporter with Showbiz 411, was the first one to address the alleged concerns about Franklin’s health over the weekend.

He claimed the 18-time Grammy winner is “gravely ill in Detroit,” according to Yahoo Entertainment.

Other outlets, including BET and the Chicago Sun-Times, are also reporting the news.

Some six hours ago, reporter Harry Hairston tweeted that he had spoken with a “close friend” of the singer’s ,and that she is “not doing well.”

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Aretha Franklin last performed publicly less than a year ago, in November 2017, for the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s 25th anniversary gala.

Both a gifted singer and a pianist, the Memphis-born Franklin toured with her father’s traveling revival show — he was a Baptist preacher — and she later visited New York City, where she first signed with Columbia Records, according to a biography of her.

A series of her popular singles are now considered classics. In 1987, she became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2008 she won her 18th Grammy Award — making her one of the most honored artists in Grammy history.

The singer has four sons.

Some eight years ago she underwent surgery for a tumor, Yahoo and other outlets reported, but she “later disputed reports that she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Her undisclosed illness has resulted in several concert cancellations,” said the outlet.

She’s been intensely private about her health, yet this past spring she was unable to perform at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

The outpouring of concern, prayers, thoughts and more on social media has already begun.

Here are but a few of the comments and posts about Franklin and the impact of her art, her performances, her music, and her abilities.

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