Iconic soul and blues singer Aretha Franklin is gravely ill, a report claims.
The 76-year-old, who is known for her classic hits including ‘Respect’, ‘Natural Woman’ and ‘I Say a Little Prayer’, was forced to pull out of a string of concerts across America at the request of her doctors in March.
Now, Roland Martin, a journalist who frequently covers Aretha, took to Twitter to share more about her illness.
“Many of you are asking me to confirm the health status of @ArethaFranklin. Folks, I’ve known for several months. The Queen is surrounded by loved ones. That’s all I will say for now,” he wrote alongside a snap of the pair from 2016. “Please keep her, the family and her longtime support staff in your prayers.”
Evrod Cassimy, a Detroit based local news anchor who was the first to learn of the singer’s retirement, also tweeted Aretha’s health.
“BREAKING NEWS: 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,” he wrote.
BREAKING NEWS: 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.
— Evrod Cassimy (@EvrodCassimy) August 13, 2018
It is not yet known what the health problem is, however Showbiz 411 claims Aretha is battling cancer after being diagnosed in 2010.
In a radio interview with WDIV Local 4 radio in Detroit just last year, Aretha said that she wouldn’t be far from retiring from touring for good. “I must tell you, I am retiring this year,” the Blues Brothers actress said.
“I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it … I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from, and where it is now. 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.”
A cruel internet hoax last year also reported that the star had died, although she quickly put those rumours to bed and told her fans not to believe such rubbish. Fans have been sharing their well-wishes online, hoping that their idol makes a swift recovery.
One fan on Twitter wrote: “May her final journey be peaceful, and may she be spared any pain. I have enjoyed her music since the 60s. She is a national treasure.” Another said: “I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she pulls through. Such an icon! Please let her be ok!”