Aretha Franklin is 'gravely ill', as family ask for prayers

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The queen of Soul is "gravely ill" in hospital according to reports.

Soul legend Aretha Franklin is said to be gravely ill and is surronded by friends and family in her native Detroit, according to veteran entertainment reporter Roger Friedman of Showbiz 411.

Showbiz 411 reported the family is asking for prayers and privacy.

Aretha Franklin has dealt with numerous medical issues for most of the decade, including an alleged pancreatic cancer diagnosis in 2010 that she debunked in interviews about a year later.

"She is extremely disappointed she can not perform at this year's New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival as she had expected and hoped to".

The 76-year-old legendary singer has been dogged by rumors of cancer since at least 2011, when she told Jet exclusively that doctors advised her to cancel all concerts until May because of her health.

Last November, she was the subject of a death hoax online but insisted she was "doing well" when she spoke up to deny the reports. She followed up in April with a canceled scheduled appearance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

The Detroit Historical Society reports that Franklin's family lived in Detroit shortly after she was born in 1942.

She said at the time: "I will be recording, but this will be my previous year in concert".

Franklin was the first ever woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and topped Rolling Stone's Greatest Artists of All Time List.

Her song "Respect" is generally regarded as her biggest triumph. Aretha's name is trending on Twitter, with thousands of fans sending messages in tribute to the star.

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