One-of-a-kind singer Aretha Franklin is reportedly in her final days as she fights cancer. The 76-year old First Lady of Soul has been in poor health over the past few years and has not appeared in public since last November when she performed with Elton John at an AIDS Foundation event.
Fox News reports that "The ‘Respect’ singer was also forced to cancel a series of concerts last summer on ‘doctor’s orders.’ In March, she announced she would not be at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival because her doctor recommended she take a break from touring.
“Aretha Franklin has been ordered by her doctor to stay off the road and rest completely for at least the next two months,” Franklin’s management said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “She is extremely disappointed she cannot perform at this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival as she had expected and hoped to.”
Franklin announced her retirement in 2017, saying she would no longer tour. “I must tell you, I am retiring this year," Franklin told WDIV in 2017. "This will be my last year. I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it.”
“A source very close to Aretha and a longtime dear friend tells TMZ he was told a week ago, ‘Prepare yourself, she's dying.’ The source adds Aretha was down to 86 pounds and her health was failing. The source says 2 weeks ago everyone in Aretha's circle was told ‘she could go any time.’
This doesn’t come from just the one source. The sad news was confirmed by another longtime friend of the singer
“Another source -- someone who has been close to Aretha for decades -- tells TMZ she has been battling cancer.
“The news that her health is failing first came from Roger Friedman over at Showbiz411, and WDIV TV in Detroit says Aretha's family confirmed she is gravely ill.”
Fox News also reports that the first indication of the severity of her condition was hinted at in a tweet from Franklin’s friend, journalist Roland Martin. He posted a photo of himself with the legendary singer on her birthday in March of 2016 - along with the following statement:
"Many of you are asking me to confirm the health status of @ArethaFranklin. Folks, I’ve known for several months. The Queen is surrounded by loved ones. That’s all I will say for now. Please keep her, the family and her longtime support staff in your prayers."
Fox News reports, “Franklin has been nominated for 44 Grammy awards, winning 18 of them. Along with her most well-known song, ‘Respect,’ the singer shot to fame with hits including “Natural Woman,” ‘I Say A Little Prayer’ and ‘Chain of Fools.’
“Franklin was also the first woman to be inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She was named in 2010 the greatest singer of all time by Rolling Stone.”
It sounds as thought lovely lady with the iconic voice is close to the end and we send prayers to her and her loved ones during this difficult time.