family friend, anchor Evrod Cassimy of WDIV-TV in Detroit, tweeted: "Just got a chance to speak to Aretha Franklin".

The soul singer Aretha Franklin was said to be seriously ill and surrounded by family and friends in hospice care yesterday.


A person close to Franklin, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, revealed Monday that the singer is seriously ill.

Aretha's final public performance was at the Mann Center in Philadelphia in August 2017, where she reportedly battled through "exhaustion and dehydration" to "miraculously" complete the show.

Yesterday, reports emerged saying Aretha was "gravely ill in Detroit", with Roger Friedman saying in his Showbiz 411 column: "The family is asking for prayers and privacy".

"This previous year or so she's been challenged health wise but her spirits were high, always high, and her faith was always strong. She's going to forever be remembered".


But she is "alert, laughing, teasing, able to recognize people", her nephew Tim Franklin told People magazine. "So many have given us decades of Timeless music".

Even as Franklin's star rose, she never forgot where she came from. Franklin has 44 Grammy nominations and 18 wins. President George W. Bush awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.

"I'm doing well generally", she told Us Weekly.

"She is an American performer at its very best", Lydia said yesterday.


"She made sure that women in general knew that they were not under a man, that they were supposed to walk next to them".

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