NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/CBS) – “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin is reportedly gravely ill and surrounded by friends and family in a Detroit hospital.
The person, who was not allowed to publicly talk about the topic and spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press on Monday that Franklin was very sick but no other details were provided.
The 76-year-old singer has been dealing with serious health issues for several years.
Following doctor’s orders, Franklin cancelled several performances since last summer, including the New Orleans Jazz Fest in April.
The “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” singer also cancelled a march 25 show in Newark, N.J., that would have taken place on her birthday.
Fellow musicians and celebrities took to social media to share their support for Franklin.
The daughter of a Baptist preacher famous for his fiery sermons, Franklin was born in Memphis, Tenn., on March 25, 1942, but grew up primarily in Detroit where she sang in the church choir.
With her father’s encouragement and connections to the major gospel artists of the day, Aretha was making records by the age of 14. She toured with Sam Cooke, a gospel singer who had crossed over to become a pop idol, before signing with Columbia Records.
Franklin went on to record a massive number of iconic hits, holding the record for most Billboard hot 100 hits of any female artist until surpassed by Nicki Minaj in 2017.
Her hits spanned decades: In the late 1960s she found fame singnign “Respect,” “Think,” “”A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like)” and “Chain of Fools,” and found a strong second showing in the charts in the 1980s with “Freeway of Love,” “Who’s Zoomin’ Who,” with George Michael, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),” and with the Eurythmics, “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves.”
Franklin has been nominated for Grammy Awards 44 times, winning 18 times.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)