ORIGINAL STORY: Music legend Aretha Franklin is reported “gravely ill” and “surrounded by family” in her native Detroit.
Veteran entertainment reporter Roger Friedman of Showbiz 411 says the singer’s family are “asking for prayers and privacy”.
Friedman’s words do not paint the picture of a hopeful recovery, stating that Franklin will be “missed as a mother, sister, friend, cousin”.
Franklin, who turned 76 in March, was diagnosed with cancer back in 2010. This said, Friedman’s report does not confirm whether this has contributed to her current illness.
The soul legend last performed on 2nd November 2017 for the benefit of the AIDS Foundation in New York, after stating her intention to retire in February that same year.
As an interpreter of songs and singular vocal talent, many consider Franklin to be peerless. Schooled in gospel and blues, she made a name for herself as one amongst the most prominent and iconic Black American artists to cross over to a mainstream audience in the 1960s.
After a string of modest successes, she landed her first #1 single with the 1967 hit ‘Respect’. The breakthrough was a cover of a song originally performed by Otis Redding, but it was Franklin who added the iconic ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T’ chorus.
Franklin was also the first woman to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and has won a total of 18 Grammy Awards.