Iconic soul singer Aretha Franklin is ‘gravely ill’ according to her family. The 76 year old singer is in a Detroit hospital surrounded by her closest friends and family members. Franklin has battled a variety of illnesses during the past ten years. Currently she is struggling with a severe heart condition. In spite of continued medical set backs, Franklin was able to perform last year for a celebrity charity event for singer Elton John. Last summer she was forced to cancel a series of concerts due to ‘doctor’s orders.’
She missed a planned appearance at the New Orleans music festival last year, again due to her doctor telling her to ‘skip it.’ At the time her rep released a statement, “Aretha Franklin has been ordered by her doctor to stay off the road and rest completely for at least the next two months. She is extremely disappointed she cannot perform at this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival as she had expected and hoped to.” Franklin herself said last year that she was planning on slowing down after her last album was released. She said she would not be touring again.
Franklin reportedly battled cancer in 2010, although the singer would never confirm the diagnosis. In 1984 the singer and mother of four, developed an acute fear of flying, which kept her from performing overseas. The farthest she has gone to perform in a concert was in North America. Franklin was born and raised in Detroit, after becoming famous she moved to Los Angeles into a Beverly Hills mansion. She relocated back to her native Michigan in 1982 to the exclusive Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills Michigan. Fans have been leaving pray cards and flowers on the singer’s star on Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles.