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Very Real

Aretha Franklin Is Reportedly 'Gravely Ill,' Surrounded In Detroit By Friends And Family

According to one outlet, Aretha Franklin is “asking for your prayers at this time.”

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

Music icon Aretha Franklin is reportedly gravely ill, according to multiple reports.

Evrod Cassimy, anchor for Detroit outlet WDIV-TV, tweeted the news on Monday and said that he’d spoken to Franklin’s family members, adding, “she is asking for your prayers at this time.”

Showbiz 411 also reported on Sunday that the 76-year-old icon was ill and in Detroit, “surrounded by family and people close to her.”

According to TMZ, Franklin is currently battling cancer, and her weight is down to 86 pounds. Per one of TMZ’s sources, Franklin’s friends and family were told that she could “go at any time.” 

News of Franklin’s illness comes after the “Respect” singer canceled two performances in March, per doctor’s orders for Franklin to rest for at least the next two months, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Franklin, born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1942, has lived in Detroit since the age of 4, according to the Detroit Free Press. She told the outlet: “My roots are there. The church is there. My family is there. I like the camaraderie in Detroit, how we’ll rally behind something that’s really worthy and come to each other’s assistance.”

Franklin’s extensive career includes a laundry list of notable accomplishments in the music industry. The “Queen of Soul” has 18 Grammys to her name and has even been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2014, she also became the first female artist, and the fourth artist overall, to have 100 singles make Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Franklin announced her impending retirement in 2017, with the addendum that, in addition to releasing one more album, she would perform “at some select things, many one a month, for six months out of the year.”

[Photo: Aretha Franklin performs during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival Opening Gala on April 19, 2017 in New York City. By Taylor Hill/Getty Images]