Aretha Franklin Vigil Held Amid Queen of Soul's Health Battle

Shannon Stapleton  Reuters            
                    Aretha was diagnosed with cancer in 2010

Shannon Stapleton Reuters Aretha was diagnosed with cancer in 2010

Franklin, 76, was born in Memphis, Tennessee, but moved to Detroit before her fifth birthday when her father, the Rev. C. L. Franklin, became the pastor at New Bethel Baptist Church in 1946.

The Detroit church once led by Aretha Franklin's father - and where she first tested her remarkable voice - filled with music once again Wednesday as dozens gathered for a prayer vigil for the ailing "Queen of Soul".

Her family have now said they appreciate the "love and support" being showered on the legendary singer, who remains 'seriously ill'.

Franklin, a one-time gospel singer whose reign as the "Queen of Soul" has spanned more than 50 years, is under hospice care at her home on Tuesday, according to publicist Gwendolyn Quinn.

Reverend Jesse Jackson is also thought to have paid a visit to see the music legend.

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A person close to Franklin has confirmed that the singer is ill, though no further details have been released. "This is it", she told WDIV in February 2017, adding that she would still take the stage at "some select things". "And the last time I talked to her, she just said 'I'm not to be anxious about, and the church is not to be anxious about'". After her performance, he said, "Nobody embodies more fully the connection between the African-American spiritual, the blues, R&B, rock and roll the way that hardship and sorrow were transformed into something full of beauty and vitality and hope".

The singer, whose hit songs include Chain of Fools and Think, has a long-standing professional relationship with Wonder, with whom she performed 13 years ago at the Annual Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards in Pasadena, California. "Just got a chance to speak to Aretha Franklin". I spoke with her family members this morning.

When asked if he wud give her the official grown, he replied: "Oh yeah, she deserves it".

She said: "I'm doing well generally, all test have come back good".

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