Journalism of Courage

Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin is gravely ill – Family

The family of Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin has confirmed that the singer is  “gravely ill.”

Roger Friedman was first to break the news, saying that the 76-year-old soul legend is “surrounded by “family and people close to her” in Detroit.

Franklin, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, last performed in November 2017 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York. Her final public performance was in Philadelphia in August 2017, Yahoo reports.

“It was a miraculous show as Aretha was already then fighting exhaustion and dehydration,” Friedman wrote, describing the Philadelphia performance.

Franklin, whose hits include “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” (1968), “Day Dreaming” (1972), “Jump to It” (1982), and “Freeway of Love” (1985), became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 2005, then-president George W. Bush awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award for an American civilian.

She sang at Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration in January 2009.

Earlier this year, Franklin canceled two concerts scheduled in New Jersey, per doctors orders. According to a statement from her management team, she was “extremely disappointed she cannot perform as she had expected and hoped to.”

Last year, Franklin announced plans to retire after releasing one final album, saying she would perform at “some select things.”



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