Aretha Franklin Is Reportedly "Gravely" Ill And Near Her Death

Respect was a giant hit for Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin who was just 25 when the track was released

The tape which aired on NBC plays a male voice which said: "Nobody even told me about it".

- Aretha may have been born in Tennessee, but arguably it was her church community at New Bethel Baptist Church that raised her. "By 1968, Franklin was an established soul chart-topper with hits like "Respect", "Chain of Fools" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman".

Reports have come out today that musical legend Aretha Franklin, who announced her plans to retire past year, is "gravely ill" in her home in Detroit.

She was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. "But you know, I'm not being amusing, my voice was down a little bit".

"I pray for strength I pray the family has strength going through this hard time and they should have the fans out here praying as well", Chukuma Okei said.

She said at the time: "I will be recording, but this will be my a year ago in concert".

Artists from across the musical spectrum offered well wishes to the legendary singer who has lived in Detroit - the Motor City, home of Motown - most of her life.

Franklin was called to the stage that night in Washington, D.C.to honor Carole King, who co-wrote the song with her first husband, Gerry Goffin.

Franklin underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2010, and has battled undisclosed health issues in recent years, cancelling several planned concerts earlier this year as a result.

Franklin has 44 Grammy nominations and 18 wins.

In 2005, Ms. Franklin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom - the highest award for an American civilian - by then-president George W. Bush.

A source close to Franklin told TMZ he was told to "prepare yourself, she's dying".

Roland Martin, a journalist who frequently covers Franklin, took to Twitter to address her health condition, writing, "Many of you are asking me to confirm the health status of @ArethaFranklin".

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