Legendary soul singer, Aretha Franklin, is reportedly in hospice care at her home. She is surrounded by family and friends, according to a source close to the 76-year-old singer who spoke with CNN’s Don Lemon.
The news of Franklin, who is known as the “Queen of Soul,” being very ill was first reported by Showbiz 411. Roger Friedman told CNN: “She has a great family, she’s surrounded by love, and the world is sending prayers. All further announcements will be made by her family. We just want to send love and prayers.”
There have been reports of Franklin’s failing health for years. She has appeared frail in recent photos, but she has kept her struggle private.
In February of 2017, the soul singer announced that she would stop touring, but she continued to book concerts. Earlier this year, she canceled a pair of performances, including at the New Orleans Jazz Fest. This was done on doctor’s orders, according to Rolling Stone. In 2010, she was forced to cancel to scheduled performances due to fractured ribs and abdominal pain.
The legend’s career spanned six decades. She got her start by singing Gospel music in a Detroit church where her father was the minister. In 1960, Franklin signed with her first major record label. And by 1968, she was at the top of the soul charts with hits like “Respect,” “Chain of Fools” and “A Natural Woman.”
In that same year, she was asked to sing at the memorial service of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She performed a stirring rendition of “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.”
Franklin was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1987. In 1994, at age 52, she became the youngest at that time to receive a Kennedy Center Honor. She has 44 Grammy nominations and 18 wins. Franklin performed at the inaugurations of three presidents: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. And President George W. Bush awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.