Aretha Franklin’s nephew reveals the Queen of Soul is receiving hospice care at her Detroit home
- Aretha Franklin is reportedly ‘gravely ill’ and surrounded by her family in Detroit
- A longtime friend said he was told two weeks ago that she ‘could go at any time’
- The Queen of Soul, 76, is said to be down to 86-pounds & battling cancer
- In 2017 she said it would be her last year performing and then cancelled several appearances citing ‘doctor’s orders’
- The ‘Respect’ and ‘Natural Woman’ singer won 20 Grammys throughout her career as well as three lifetime achievement awards
Aretha Franklin, 76, who is battling cancer and is reportedly down to just 86-pounds, is in hospice care surrounded by friends and family at her home in Detroit.
Her nephew, Tim Franklin, 60, revealed that along with her hospice care, her ‘family is there with her,’ adding ‘she’s home.’
‘Aretha’s a strong woman of faith,’ Tim told Radar. ‘We’re all praying for her during her time of illness. We are of the belief that she’ll pull through, and her spirits are that of such.’
Tim says she knows her fans are concerned about her and that ‘She is requesting prayer, pray for her strength.’
While the singer has been fighting cancer for several years now, the family remains hopeful that she can pull through, and they are trying to protect her from the media reports on her failing health.
Fighting: Aretha Franklin is ‘gravely ill’ but surrounded by loved ones in hospice at her home in Detroit. She is pictured here during her last performance in NYC in November 2017 for Elton John Aids Foundation Fall Gala
In December of 2015, during a performance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Franklin looked like the legend we all know. She appeared to be a ghost of her former self however through the coming years
‘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,’ Tim told People.
‘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.’
However, People reports that her loved ones have been warned her ‘death is imminent.’
Aretha told the Detroit Free Press in an exclusive interview in August of 2017 that she was moving to her hometown city of Detroit from her longtime residence in Bloomfield Hills.
On Monday night, Beyonce and Jay Z were in the city for their On The Run II Tour at Ford Field and dedicated their performance to the Queen of Soul.
Beyonce opened up saying ‘We love you and thank you for all the beautiful music.’
Meanwhile a longtime friend of the songstress said he was told a week ago to prepare himself because she was dying.
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He also revealed that Aretha’s family and friends were informed two weeks ago that she ‘could go at any time’.
Another source revealed to TMZ that Aretha has been battling cancer, although they did not disclose what kind.
Cendia Franklin, Aretha’s sister-in-law, also said that the soul icon is fighting for her life and that the outlook is ‘not looking good’.
‘She’s very ill,’ Cendia told Radar on Monday. ‘She has been under the weather for months. A lot of her family is around her, supporting her.’
Cendia said the family does not know if Aretha will be able to recover.
‘We just never know,’ she added.
But Abdul ‘Duke’ Fakir, the lone surviving original member of the Four Tops, said she was speaking of the future as recently as last week.
Fakir, who has been ‘very close’ with Aretha for decades, spoke to the singer over the phone after she stopped by his Detroit home when he wasn’t there.
‘She was telling me she rides around the city every now and then – she talks about how beautiful it is again,’ Fakir told the Associated Press.
‘We were reminiscing about how blessed we were – only a couple two of us are around from that era. We were just kind of reminiscing about the good times we had.’
Fakir, who calls Aretha ‘baby sis’, said she spoke of a ‘great, big special’ that she wanted to have in New York ‘with all her great friends performing’.
‘It made me feel good as well – she was still hoping and wishing and dreaming as we do in this business,’ he added.
Icon: Aretha’s family have asked for prayers and privacy for the the singing legend, who has battled health problems for the past number of years (pictured 1967)
The Queen of Soul was performing as recently as last year but canceled a series of concerts last summer, citing ‘doctor’s orders’.
Her last performance was on November 2, 2017 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York, where she closed the event with I Say a Little Prayer and Freeway.
Aretha’s final public performance was at Philadelphia’s Mann Center in August 2017.
The songstress had revealed earlier in 2017 that it would be her final year performing after releasing her 42nd studio album A Brand New Me.
‘I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert,’ she announced during a Detroit radio interview that February. ‘This is it.’
‘I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from, and where it is now,’ she added.
‘I’ll be pretty much satisfied, but I’m not going to go anywhere and just sit down and do nothing. That wouldn’t be good either.’
While still amazingly performing into her seventies, the superstar has on occasion canceled performances for undisclosed medical treatments.
Aretha denied reports that she was battling pancreatic cancer in 2011.
However all three of Aretha’s siblings fell to cancer.
Health issues: The Respect icon has struggled with weight issues throughout her life, and has battled alcoholism. She was also previously a chain smoker (pictured during the White House Correspondent’s Dinner in DC, April, 2016)
Her brother Cecil, who was also her manager, died from lung cancer in December 1989.
Her sister Carolyn died the previous year in April 1988 from breast cancer, while eldest sister Erma passed from throat cancer in September 2002.
To say Aretha’s career is legendary would be an understatement. Her career has helped shape American history.
She performed Precious Lord at Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral in 1968.
Aretha was the daughter of famed civil rights activist CL Franklin, who organized one of the largest marches for racial equality in the nation.
The march, which was held in Detroit, was the very first place King delivered his iconic ‘I Have A Dream’ speech.
‘We look at, and we reflect on his accomplishment, and his achievement in organizing the community in this way,’ Aretha said of her father in 1963.
Celebrities including Mariah Carey, Missy Elliot, and Ciara took to Twitter to offer their prayers and well wishes to Aretha on Monday
‘And I’m very, very happy and pleased and as proud as punch of my dad, having been the single person that organized it all.’
Aretha was the fist ever woman inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. She also topped Rolling Stone’s Greatest Artists Of All Time list.
She has won 20 Grammys in throughout her career, the third-most Grammy Awards for any female artist in history.
Aretha was also awarded three special awards from the Grammys, including the Legend Award (1991), the Lifetime Achievement Award (1994), and the MusiCares Person of the Year (2008).
A number of celebrities took to Twitter on Monday to offer their prayers and well wishes to Aretha.
Mariah Carey, who considers Franklin one of her biggest influences, wrote that she was ‘praying for the Queen of Soul’.
Missy Elliot also tweeted her prayers to Aretha and called on music fans to remember their icons while they’re still alive.
‘We must celebrate the Living Legends while they are here to see it,’ she wrote. ‘So many have given us decades of timeless music.’
‘This is it’: She revealed last year 2017 would be her final year performing, though she would continue to record music (undated portrait)
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