Standing outside the Motown Museum in Detroit on Monday, Linda Laura-Culbreath told AFP that Ms. Franklin had influenced a generation of women who were empowered by her songs. He ran the idea for the concert by Franklin last spring, and she approved-she apparently "hoped to be in the audience if not actually perform [ing]". As she's fighting, her friends say she's the same woman she's always been.
"It was lovely. The audience was incredibly diverse, all ages".
It's believed she's been secretly battling cancer for some time now. In 2015 Aretha sang for the pope, gave an acclaimed performance at the Kennedy Center Honors and one year after that performed the national anthem at the annual Lions Thanksgiving Day game.
The Say A Little Prayer soul legend, 76, is surrounded by her loved ones in Detroit, nine months after her last performance at the Elton John AIDS Foundation party in NY.
She said: 'I'm doing well generally, all test have come back good'. She brought a lot of the church music from the African-American experience to life. "I'll have more details as I'm allowed to release", he wrote on Twitter.
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Veteran US entertainment reporter Roger Friedman broke the news of Franklin's condition, writing on Showbiz 411: "Aretha is surrounded by family and people close to her. "Aretha's dead",'" he said. She would return to the nation's capitol in 2009 with a show-stopping rendition of "My Country Tis of Thee" for the inauguration of president Obama. She won 18 Grammy Awards.
Franklin's career spans six decades.
"Lose Control" rapper Missy Elliott added: "My prayers are with Aretha Franklin & her family during this hard time".
Aretha was a bridge between religion, pop culture and civil rights, said C. Shawn McGuffey, associate professor of sociology and director of the African and African Diaspora studies at Boston College.
A TMZ source claims Aretha's health has been failing for weeks, and a fortnight ago her inner circle were warned: "She could go any time".