Aretha Franklin is seriously ill and is receiving hospice care in her home, according to a source close to the family. Franklin in 76 years old and has suffered with health problems for several years.
Vladimir Duthiers, with CBS News, has been reporting from Detroit, the hometown of Franklin. It was in Detroit that the Queen of Soul discovered her legendary sound at the New Bethel Baptist Church. Her father was a minister there.
Franklin’s gospel roots stayed with her as her musical style changed and developed beyond the church choir. Pastor Robert Smith Jr. says that since the church has learned Franklin is seriously ill, the congregation has been praying for her. “Without Aretha, the church wouldn’t still be here,” he said.
On Monday, Aug. 13, 2018, CBS News was told by a source close to the family that Franklin is being cared for by hospice in her Detroit home. Celebrities and politicians reacted through tweets on Monday. Mariah Carey tweeted, “Praying for the Queen of Soul.” Former President Bill Clinton wrote, “Hillary and I are thinking about Aretha Franklin tonight.”
At a concert Monday night, Beyoncé and Jay-Z dedicated their performance to Franklin. DJ Khaled opened for them and paid tribute to the Queen of Soul by getting the crowd to sing “Respect” in her honor.
Even as Aretha Franklin rose as a star, she did not forget where she came from. A few weeks ago, Pastor Smith said she contacted him to perform in the church’s annual benefit concert.
Detroit honored Franklin by naming a street after her in 2017. Many of those who attended the Beyoncé concert last night had to cross that street to get there.
New Bethel parishioners will hold a special early morning prayer service for Aretha Franklin on Wednesday, Aug. 15.
Word of Franklin’s serious illness was first reported by Showbiz 411. Roger Friedman, from Showbiz 411, told CNN: “She has a great family, she’s surrounded by love, and the world is sending prayers. All further announcements will be made by her family. We just want to send love and prayers.”
There have been reports of her failing health circling for years and she appeared frail in recent photographs. However, she has chosen to keep her health struggles private.
In February 2017, Franklin announced that she was going to stop touring, nevertheless, she continued to book concerts. Early in 2018, she canceled two performances. She canceled her performance at the New Orleans Jazz Fest due to her physician’s orders, as reported by Rolling Stone.
In 2010, Franklin was forced to cancel a couple performances due to fractured ribs and abdominal pain.
The Queen of Soul has been performing for six decades. She started singing gospel music in her father’s Detroit church. In 1960, she signed with her first major record label. By 1968, she was an established chart-topper with hit songs like “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman,” and “Chain of Fools.”
Also in 1968, Franklin was chosen to sing at the memorial service for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. There, she performed a special stringed rendition of “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.”
In 1987, she was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At the age of 52, in 1994, Franklin became the youngest person to receive a Kennedy Center Honor.
She has earned 44 Grammy nominations and 18 wins. Aretha Franklin has performed at the inaugurations of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. In 2005, President George W. Bush awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The last album Franklin produced, “A Brand New Me” was released in 2017. She remixed her vintage vocals with her newly recorded arrangements.
Her last known performance was at a private gala for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in November.
By Jeanette Smith
CBS This Morning: Aretha Franklin is in home hospice care, source says
CNN Entertainment: Source: Aretha Franklin is in hospice care
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