This is exclusive, and heart breaking for me and for the family and friends of the great Aretha Franklin. She is gravely ill in Detroit. The family is asking for prayers and privacy.
Originally diagnosed with cancer in 2010, Aretha, who turned 76 in March, bravely battled back and refused to be knocked out by illness. Her last performance as on November 2, 2017 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York. Her final public performance was at Philadelphia’s Mann Center in August 2017. It was a miraculous show as Aretha was already then fighting exhaustion and dehydration.
Aretha is surrounded by family and people close to her. She will be so missed as a mother, sister, friend, cousin. But her legacy is larger than life. It’s not just that Rolling Stone called her the number 1 singer of all time, or that she is the Queen of Soul. Long live the Queen.