Stevie Wonder and Jesse Jackson visit ailing Aretha Franklin at her Detroit home
A tribute is also being planned for the 76-year-old Queen of Soul at Madison Square Garden in New York on November 14
Legendary singer and performer Aretha Franklin is currently in hospice care at her home in Detroit in the company of friends and family. While some celebrities sent their well wishes to her via Twitter, a few close friends have reportedly visited the Queen of Soul in person. Stevie Wonder and Reverend Jesse Jackson recently met Franklin at her home in Detroit, her publicist Gwendolyn Quinn told People.
She earlier said in a statement, "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 said.
Her nephew Tim Franklin had earlier said that she was "resting" at home and that her "family is with her." He said, "She’s alert, laughing, teasing, able to recognize people. Family is there with her. She’s home. I saw her a week ago Friday and we talked for about 45 minutes to an hour. My brother was there on Saturday and she was alert, talking, laughing, joking. 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," Tim said. He had also added that she will "pull through". "We believe she’ll pull through it, she believes she’ll pull through it, and that’s the important thing," he told People.
A tribute is also being planned for the 76-year-old at Madison Square Garden in New York on November 14, reported Billboard. 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.' The lineup for the tribute has not been announced and it is not yet confirmed if Franklin herself would be able to attend the celebration. In light of recent reports of her illness, it would be unlikely that she would.
Meanwhile, Jay-Z and Beyonce who are currently touring together also dedicated their concert to Franklin. They were on the Detroit leg of their 'On The Run II Tour' at Fort Field. "This show is dedicated to Aretha Franklin. We love you and thank you," Beyonce reportedly told the crowd after performing their first song.
Franklin had recently canceled her music concerts owing to health concerns. She is said to have been advised by the doctors to rest.