Aretha Franklin‘s family have confirmed that the soul icon is “seriously ill”, as they continue to rally around the singer at her home in Detroit.
On Monday, it was reported that the 76-year-old singer, with close sources claiming that her family were preparing to say goodbye as she receives hospice care at home – prompting a huge stream of messages of well-wishers across the world.
Her family have now confirmed that she is “seriously ill”, and thanked fans for the ‘love and support’ being lavished upon her.
Aretha’s publicist Gwendolyn Quinn told People Magazine: “Aretha Franklin has been the Matriarch of the Franklin family since the passing of all of her siblings. The love she has for her family is above reproach and was evident in the warm smiles she was able to share with her nephew during his very brief visit two weeks ago.
“She is seriously ill and surrounded by family members who appreciate the outpouring of love and support they have received.”
Yesterday, nephew Tim Franklin revealed that the singer was in “good spirits” at home.
“She’s alert, laughing, teasing, able to recognise people. Family is there 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.”
Remaining optimistic, he added: “We believe she’ll pull through it, she believes she’ll pull through it, and that’s the important thing.”
In a legendary career spanning more than five decades as a soul superstar, Aretha has won 18 Grammy awards, shifted more than 75million 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.