“She is the Queen of Soul. Long live the Queen.”
Legendary singer Aretha Franklin is believed to be ‘gravely ill’, with the music icon’s family gathering at her bedside in Detroit.
The 76-year-old Queen of Soul is said to be “surrounded” by her closest friends and family, after battling extensive health problems in recent years.
The legendary singer was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, and delivered her most recent performance at the Elton John AIDS Foundation party in New York last November.
Revealing the news in his Showbiz 411 Column, Roger Freidmann said: “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.”
In 2017, she was forced to deny a cruel death hoax, after a viral tweet claimed that she had passed away.
Responding to the hoax later the same day, she told Us Weekly in a statement: “I’m doing well generally, all test have come back good.”
She added: “I’ve lost a lot of weight due to side effects of medicine, it affects your weight … Thanxxxx for your concern.”
In a legendary career spanning more than five decades as a soul superstar, Aretha has won 18 Grammy awards, shifted more than 75million records and performed at three presidential inaugurations – including Barack Obama’s in January 2009.
Her last record came in the form of 2017’s ‘A Brand New Me’, shortly before she announced her retirement.
“I must tell you, I am retiring this year. I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now”, she confirmed at the time.