Aretha Franklin‘s nephew Tim has said that the singer is “alert, talking, laughing [and] joking”, despite news of her ailing health.
According to People, Tim Franklin said: “She’s alert, laughing, teasing, able to recognise people. Family is with her, she’s home.”
“I saw her a week ago Friday and we talked for about 45 minutes to an hour,” he said. “My brother was there on Saturday and she was alert, talking, laughing, joking,” Tim continued. “She’s watching TV, so god forbid she sees all of this ‘Aretha’s dead,’ so I don’t want to dampen her spirits on that.”
Although he confirmed that the soul legend is still unwell, Tim Franklin said that he remains hopeful that she will survive, saying that they are “trying to keep her spirits up and go from there.”
“We believe she’ll pull through it, she believes she’ll pull through it, and that’s the important thing,” he continued.
The comments come after Aretha Franklin’s family confirmed that the 76 year-old singer was ‘seriously ill’. It was later reported that she is in ‘hospice care at home’ while ‘gravely ill’ and surrounded by family.
Legendary producer Clive Davis is reportedly spearheading the organisation of a tribute concert for the singer at New York’s Madison Square Garden. He is known for his enduring work with Franklin, having first signed her to his Arista Records label in 1980.
The show will reportedly be titled ‘Clive Davis Presents: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin’ and is set to take place on November 14.
In a legendary career spanning more than five decades as a soul superstar, Aretha has won 18 Grammy awards, shifted more than 75 million records and performed at three presidential inaugurations – including that of Barack Obama in January 2009.
Her last record came in the form of 2017’s ‘A Brand New Me’, shortly before she announced her retirement.
“I must tell you, I am retiring this year. I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now”, she confirmed at the time.