Aretha Franklin has been under care at her home in Detroit’s Riverfront Towers, sources said Monday night.
The iconic soul singer is seriously ill, multiple people close to Franklin and her family told the Free Press.
“It’s in God’s hands,” said one longtime friend, who requested anonymity because of the family’s wish for privacy.
News broke of Franklin’s ailing health Monday morning, with WDIV anchor Evrod Cassimy writing in a tweet: “I spoke with her family members this morning. She is asking for your prayers at this time.”
A person close to Aretha Franklin, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to publicly talk about the topic, confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday that the singer is seriously ill.
In March, Franklin canceled two concerts scheduled in New Jersey. According to a statement from her management team, she was following doctors’ orders to stay off the road and rest completely for two months, and that she was “extremely disappointed she cannot perform as she had expected and hoped to.”
Franklin’s most recent performance was on Nov. 2, 2017, for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York and her final public performance was at Philadelphia’s Mann Center in August 2017.
BREAKING NEWS: I am so saddened to report that the Queen of Soul and my good friend, Aretha Franklin is gravely ill. I spoke with her family members this morning. She is asking for your prayers at this time. I’ll have more details as I’m allowed to release.
— Evrod Cassimy (@EvrodCassimy)
Franklin last performed in her Detroit hometown in June 2017. It was an emotion-packed concert for thousands at an outdoor festival downtown. She ended the performance with a then-cryptic appeal to the hometown crowd: “Please keep me in your prayers.”
Last year, Franklin announced her plans to retire after releasing one final album, saying she would perform at “some select things.”
A biopic starring Jennifer Hudson as Franklin is scheduled to start filming in 2019.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, on March 25, 1942, Franklin moved to Detroit at age four. She remained loyal to the region, living in the Detroit area for decades, including the Bloomfield Hills house where she moved in the late 1980s.
“My roots are there. The church is there. My family is there,” she told the Free Press in 2011. “I like the camaraderie in Detroit, how we’ll rally behind something that’s really worthy and come to each other’s assistance.”