Ailing Aretha Franklin's family express gratitude for the outpouring of love and support
While the Queen of Soul remains 'seriously ill', her family remains hopeful as they take a moment to thank all the well wishers and fans for their 'love and support'.
After it was reported recently that legendary singer Aretha Franklin is "seriously ill" and her family was preparing to say their final goodbyes, a flurry of well wishes and homages from fans and fellow musicians from across the globe started pouring in. Stevie Wonder and Reverend Jesse Jackson were among those who visited the Queen of Soul while she was in hospicare at her home in Detroit. Since then, it was reported that Franklin was resting and recovering at home, while her family members remain hopeful. It was recently confirmed that the singer was "alert, laughing, teasing, able to recognize people.” In a statement to People, Aretha's nephew Tim Franklin said: "We believe she’ll pull through it, she believes she’ll pull through it, and that’s the important thing."
Now, the singer's family has taken the time to thank all the wellwishers for the ‘love and support’ being showered on the legendary singer.
Aretha’s longtime publicist Gwendolyn Quinn told People magazine: "Aretha Franklin has been the Matriarch of the Franklin family since the passing of all of her siblings. The love she has for her family is above reproach and was evident in the warm smiles she was able to share with her nephew during his very brief visit two weeks ago."
"She is seriously ill and surrounded by family members who appreciate the outpouring of love and support they have received," Quinn added.
Aretha's nephew also voiced his concerns about all the reports doing the rounds that suggest she is dead or gravely ill and wishes to keep her away from the negativity as she recuperates. "She’s watching TV, so god forbid she sees all of this ‘Aretha’s dead,’ so I don’t want to dampen her spirits on that," he said.
A tribute is also being planned for the 76-year-old songbird at Madison Square Garden in New York on November 14. The idea was reportedly proposed by Clive Davis who is Sony Music's Chief Creative Officer. He is said to have been the singer's longtime friend. The tribute is to be a celebration of her iconic career that has spanned over almost six decades. The concert will be called, 'Clive Davis Presents: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin.' Meanwhile, Jay-Z and Beyonce who are currently touring together also dedicated their recent concert in Detroit to Franklin.
Aretha Franklin has won a total of 18 Grammy Awards and is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide. She has been honored throughout her career including a 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in which she became the first female performer to be inducted.
With hits like 'Respect', '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman', 'Spanish Harlem' and 'Think' that left an indelible mark on the soul genre in the 60s, she received the title of 'Queen of Soul'.
The singer, who has lost three siblings to cancer, made her final public performance in August of last year at the Mann Center in Philadelphia, reportedly battling through ‘exhaustion and dehydration’ to ‘miraculously’ complete the show. She went on to cancel several further performances after confirming she would be retiring. She was previously diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2011.
Our thoughts and prayers remain with Aretha Franklin and her family and wish her a speedy recovery.