Aretha Franklin is “gravely ill” with cancer, according to multiple outlets.
On Monday morning, the Local 4 news channel in Detroit reported that the “Queen of Soul” is suffering from cancer. Evrod Cassimy, the anchor for the outlet who originally broke the news of her illness, said the singer is currently “resting and surrounded by family and friends.” The reporter asked for prayers on the behalf of the Grammy award winner and her relatives.
The Memphis native has struggled with health issues since being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2010, but has continued to perform for crowds over the years. She announced her retirement from the business last February, telling Detroit TV station Local 4, “This will be my last year. I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it.”
She last performed at Elton John‘s AIDS Foundation Gala in November, where she sang some of her most popular songs.
Most recently, the diva was honored at Clive Davis‘ annual Pre-Grammy party, where it was announced Jennifer Hudson would be playing Franklin in a highly anticipated biopic on the star. According to the 76-year-old, the film would be “a chronological depiction of my advent from Detroit to New York as a young, aspiring singer.”
The star skyrocketed to fame in 1966, after signing with Atlantic Records and releasing classic songs like “You Make Me Feel Like a Woman,” “Respect” and “Say a Little Prayer.”
Our thoughts go out to the Franklin family.