Reports: Aretha Franklin ‘gravely ill’ and surrounded by family

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Media reports are circulating that the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, is “gravely ill” and surrounded by friends and family.

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The legendary singer is reportedly battling health problems and is being cared for in a Detroit hospital.

The family is asking for prayers and privacy,” wrote Roger Friedman on the Showbiz 411 website.

Last year Franklin announced her plans to retire from touring in February 2017, so that she could more time with family.

“I am retiring this year,” the iconic singer told a Detroit news station. “I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it.” As news of Franklin’s delicate health and photos of her drastic weight loss started to make headlines, fans were saddened but understood her need to prioritize her health.

NBC Philadelphia’s anchor investigative reporter Harry Hairston tweeted about the singer’s condition. Hairston said he spoke to a close friend who said the “iconic singer not doing well.”

Although Franklin has had struggles with health and recently lost a lot of weight, late last year she spoke out to ensure her fans that she was still standing strong.

“I’m doing well generally, all tests have come back good,” the Queen of Soul told Us Weekly. “I’ve lost a lot of weight due to side effects of medicine, it affects your weight… Thanxxxx for your concern.”

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Throughout her legendary career Aretha Franklin accumulated 18 Grammy awards, including one for Lifetime Achievement.

Franklin’s most notable hits include “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” (1968), “Day Dreaming” (1972), “Jump to It” (1982), “Freeway of Love” (1985), and “A Rose Is Still A Rose,” (1998).

In 1987, she became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.