The family of legendary singer Aretha Franklin have confirmed the singer is resting at home, following reports that she is ‘seriously ill’.
The Queen of Soul’s nephew Tim Franklin told People that she is surrounded by family who are “hopeful” and “trying to keep her spirits up”.
“She’s alert, laughing, teasing, able to recognise people,” Tim said.
“Family is there with her. She’s home.
“I saw her a week ago Friday and we talked for about 45 minutes to an hour. My brother was there on Saturday and she was alert, talking, laughing, joking.
“She’s watching TV, so god forbid she sees all of this ‘Aretha’s dead’, so I don’t want to dampen her spirits on that.”
“We believe she’ll pull through it, she believes she’ll pull through it, and that’s the important thing,” he added.
People also reports that Franklin has been visited by Stevie Wonder and Reverend Jesse Jackson, according to her longtime publicist Gwendolyn Quinn.
News of Franklin’s ill health was reported by Detroit news anchor Evrod Cassim on Monday (August 13).
Cassim tweeted: “I am so saddened to report that the Queen of Soul and my good friend, Aretha Franklin is gravely ill. I spoke with her family members this morning. She is asking for your prayers at this time. I’ll have more details as I’m allowed to release.”
He later added: “Just got a chance to speak to Aretha Franklin. She is resting and surrounded by close friends and family.”
Franklin started her music career as a gospel singer when she was just a teenager. She later moved on to singing secular music after signing with Columbia Records in 1960.
Throughout her career, she has won 18 Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
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