Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, is on her deathbed her family confirmed. What Aretha has asked for is prayers. And the world is answering that call.
‘Hamilton’ creator Lin Manuel-Miranda captured the immenseness of the love for Aretha Franklin simply saying he’s “Adding my prayer to the galaxy of prayers for Aretha today.”
“My prayers are with Aretha Franklin & her family during this difficult time ?? LOOK BELOW @ what I tweeted at the top of the year we MUST CELEBRATE the Living Legends while they are here to see it. So many have given us decades of Timeless music…❤️”
Mariah Carey too is “Praying for the Queen of Soul.”
Singer Ciara said, “Praying for Aretha Franklin and her family right now! ❤️??”
Detroit TV news anchor and singer-songwriter Evrod Cassimy, who is a close friend, spoke to her family and with Aretha herself Monday. What Aretha has asked for is prayers.
“I am so saddened to report that the Queen of Soul and my good friend, Aretha Franklin is gravely ill. I spoke with her family members this morning. She is asking for your prayers at this time…”
Performer Paula Abdul wrote, “My love, prayers and warm thoughts are with Aretha Franklin—the Queen of Soul. I’m praying for her and her health. Thank you to all her family and friends who are standing by her and loving her through her illness. I’m holding you all in my heart.”
Author Terry McMillian hoped the Queen of Soul was not suffering.
TMZ reported early Monday that Franklin is so ill with cancer she could pass away “at any time.”
“A source very close to Aretha and a longtime dear friend tells TMZ he was told a week ago, ‘Prepare yourself, she’s dying,'” TMZ reported. “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.'”
Bravo TV host Andy Cohen too lifted prayers.
Just last year she asked an audience to pray for her. At one of her last gigs, a show in Detroit at an outdoor venue, she said, to the audience, it was reported, to “keep me in your prayers.” Franklin’s last private performance was in the fall of 2017 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and her last public concert was held in Philadelphia last summer.
Kalen Allen, who works for ‘The Ellen Show’ said, “Praying for Aretha Franklin and her family! Pull through auntie! They don’t make them like you anymore!
Motor City radio host and TV anchor Jay Towers said, “Detroit is praying for Aretha.
“Praying for Aretha. The Queen is who she is to Black America, this country & the world, but she is first, foremost & always a Detroiter.
Not writing her obituary like some. You don’t do that while folks are still alive. You pray & you appreciate, and you hope she pulls through.”
Franklin, who grew up singing spirituals in her father’s church, New Bethel Baptist, and even recorded her fist ‘album’ in the church, canceled a concert tour to have a surgery that was rumored to have been to remove cancerous tumors. She never confirmed the diagnosis but a year later, in 2011, she had a comeback concert but the comeback didn’t last as over the next few years, she canceled several big dates to deal with undisclosed medical condition.
She told the Associated Press, in a story published in USA Today, she had a “miraculous” recovery. In 2013, she was back on the stage but again, in 2017, she canceled shows.
She’s not publcily said what her spefici illnees was, but according to the Daily Mail, although Franklin declined to identity her illnesses, all three of her siblings succumbed to cancer; brother Cecil died from lung cancer in 1989; sister Carolyn lost her battle with breast cancer in 1988; and Erma, the eldest, died in 2002 from throat cancer.
Nischelle Turner, Entertainment Tonight host said, “Three years ago out of the blue I got a lovely email from Ms. Franklin just saying hello & that she watches me on television & thought I did a good job. I WAS FLOORED & HONORED. We struck up an e-mail relationship. I will treasure it always. PRAYING. HARD.”
Jackee Harry, actress and director said, “Prayers going up for the Queen of Soul tonight. Music just wouldn’t be same if not for Aretha Franklin.”
Actor and comedian John Leguizamo similarly put his hands together.
Amy Siskind of ‘The Weekly List’ said, “Oh no ?. Say a little prayer for one of my all time favorites.”
Franklin, daughter of a preacher father and singer and pianist mother, was born in Memphis but was raised from age 5 in Detroit. Franklin taught herself to play the piano by ear. She sang in her daddy’s church, New Bethel Baptist and while gospel and spirituals were what she sang for years, she wanted to go a more popular musical route. She signed with Columbia and her first single, in 1960, was “Today I Sing the Blues.”
In 1967 she signed with Atlantic records and she recorded “I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You,” which hit the top spot on the R&B charts. That was followed by the mega-hits “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man’ and the iconic “Respect.”
Franklin, who earned 30 Grammy awards, was the first woman inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame and there’s nary a popular music list that doesn’t feature her at, or near, the top; indeed, she was among the top of Rolling Stone’s Greatest Artists Of All Time list.
Jawn Murray, media and pop culture influencer said, “Sending prayers up for the living legend herself, the one and only “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin! ?? #ArethaFranklin #QueenOfSoul #LivingLegend
Songwriter and activist Holly Figueroa O’Reilly said, “Aretha Franklin is the reason I started writing songs and performing. A true voice for the voiceless for nearly 60 years, here’s the Queen of Soul, 73 years old, in better voice than ever, making Obama cry.❤️”
“Thinking this morning of the legend herself, Aretha Franklin the mighty, the incomparable, and wishing her peace in body and mind.”
Rapper Talib Kweli Greene wrote, “Prayers for Aretha. Let’s all send her prayers…
And a fan, posted praying hands.