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Legendary singer Aretha Franklin is 'gravely ill' in Detroit hospital, reports say

Aretha Franklin performs at a benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York, Nov. 7, 2017. The foundation celebrated its 25th anniversary with the starry black-tie gala. (Nina Westervelt/The New York Times)

DETROIT — Legendary singer Aretha Franklin, better known as the "Queen of Soul," is "gravely ill" in a Detroit hospital, her family told Detroit news station WDIV-TV Monday, Aug. 13.

Evrod Cassimy, a news anchor for WDIV-TV, shared the news in a tweet Monday morning.

"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," the tweet read.

Hours later, Cassimy tweeted another update on Franklin’s condition saying: “Just got a chance to speak to Aretha Franklin. She is resting and surrounded by close friends and family.”

Franklin, 76, last performed publicly in August 2017 at Philadelphia's Mann Center. Her most recent performance was Nov. 2, 2017 at the Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York, according to the Detroit Free Press. In March 2018, Franklin canceled two concerts that were scheduled in New Jersey.

In 1979, Franklin received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and had her voiced declared a Michigan “natural resource” in 1985. In 1987, Franklin became the first woman to ever be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 2005, Franklin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President George W. Bush. In her storied musical career, Franklin has won an astounding 18 Grammy Awards, 11 of which were in the category of "Best Female R&B Vocal Performance."

Ross Torgerson

Digital Reporter for Forum Communications. Native of Moorhead, Minn. Have a question or story idea? Email me at Follow me on Twitter @RossTorgerson