Published: Tue, August 14, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Merle Christensen

‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin gravely ill, ‘in hospice care’

‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin gravely ill, ‘in hospice care’

The soul singer has hit the headlines for several years over her failing health and appeared frail in recent photos.

Branded the Queen of Soul for her ground-breaking voice, the iconic singer has battled a string of health problems in later years.

Showbiz 411's Roger Friedman had originally reported on the Respect singer's condition and later told CNN that "she has a great family, she's surrounded by love and the world is sending prayers".

This year was to be her last on the road, though she said she would finish a recording project with Stevie Wonder. "I really don't know what it would be like not to have her".

The news was first broken on Twitter by Detroit news anchor Evrod Cassimy, who said that his "good friend" Franklin is "gravely ill".

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Missy Elliot retweeted a message she had previously shared with her following, urging everyone to celebrate living legends while they are still present.

But she is "alert, laughing, teasing, able to recognize people", her nephew Tim Franklin told People magazine.

Franklin's music is at the center of an annual tribute to soul music called "Dancin' in the Street, Motown and More". President George W. Bush awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.

Standing outside the Motown Museum in Detroit on Monday, Linda Laura-Culbreath told AFP that Ms. Franklin had influenced a generation of women who were empowered by her songs. She was originally scheduled to perform on her 76th birthday in March in Newark, N.J., and at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in April.

It has just been announced that she has been moved to hospice care in her home. That is, I think, what we should say about Aretha today. "I can't think of a more American singer than Aretha Franklin".

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