Aretha Franklin, the undisputed Queen of Soul is said to be gravely ill in her beloved Detroit, Michigan. Franklin, 76 years of age announced last year that she was retiring from touring and recording music.
In recent years Franklin has had several undisclosed medical conditions that have caused her to cancel public performances. She has always been a very private person and never revealed the nature of her medical problems.
She is the daughter of the legendary gospel singer, Rev. C. L. Franklin. She was born in Memphis, Tennessee, but moved to Detroit at age two. During the height of her early singing career she lived in Los Angeles, but moved back to Detroit in the 1980s.
In the 1960s, it was said of Franklin that everything she touched turned to gold, as she had one hit record after another. Her soulful voice on such renditions as I Never Love A Man (the Way I loved You), R–E–S–P–E–C–T, Chain of Fools and later, Love in a Pink Cadillac put her in a musical class all by herself.
Evrod Cassimy, a personal friend of Ms. Franklin and a television news anchor in Detroit reported earlier today that he had actually spoke with her. He tweeted the following around 11:04 am:
“Just got a chance to speak to Aretha Franklin. She is resting and surrounded by close friends and family. More details ahead on Local 4 News at 12pm.”
In recent years, there have been other rumors that the Queen of Soul was in ill health. She has always pulled through those episodes and has come back strong.
Although Franklin has not performed professionally this year she was planning a concert in her home church, New Bethel Baptist, where she grew up and first sang publically.
“Prayers of the righteous,” the scriptures state, “availeth much.”
Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine, Medium and Black College Nines. He can be contacted at email@example.com