US ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin gravely ill, family friend says


Franklin announced her retirement from making music early a year ago, so she could spend more time with her grandchildren and her family.

But even if it's not cancer that is ailing the 24-time Grammy recipient, she is reportedly "gravely ill" with something, and could be close to death. Franklin's family also confirmed the news to WDIV Local 4. "This will be my a year ago".

The 18-time Grammy victor added: "I'll be pretty much satisfied, but I'm not going to go anywhere and just sit down and do nothing".

Although Showbiz411 reported Franklin battled cancer in 2010, the singer has long denied she was ever diagnosed.

She was performing but canceled a series of concerts citing doctors orders. "That wouldn't be good either".

She later signed to Columbia Records at the age of 18, with plans to move into secular pop music in line with Sam Cooke's career.

First rising to prominence in the mid-'50s, Aretha Franklin would take the world by storm a decade later, when a number of her singles topped charts around the world. has contacted a representative for Aretha Franklin asking for comment.

A statement released at the time said doctors had advised Aretha to rest for two months and she was "extremely disappointed" that she was unable to perform.