Soul icon Aretha Franklin is seriously ill

Aretha Franklin at her last live performance at the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala in Nov. 2017

Aretha Franklin at her last live performance at the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala in Nov. 2017

Even as her music style changed, her gospel roots stayed with her. Pastor Robert Smith Jr. says the church is praying for Franklin, after learning she is seriously ill.

She was forced to deny she had pancreatic cancer in 2011, later admitting to having had a tumour removed and has previously struggled with alcoholism, obesity and a heavy smoking habit.

She added: "I've lost a lot of weight due to side effects of medicine, it affects your weight ... She has influenced so many people", said Shirley Marks Whitmore, a founding producer of the show, which is put on at Miller Outdoor Theater in Hermann Park every spring.

"Everybody's fearful", Mr. Smith said. He reportedly told concertgoers to "make some noise for Aretha Franklin" and offered his thoughts and prayers.

"Clive Davis Presents: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin" is scheduled to take place at MSG on November 14th; the only performer confirmed so far seems to be Jennifer Hudson, who is also slated to play Aretha in a biopic for Sony/Tri-Star. "So many have given us decades of Timeless music". "Aretha Franklin, what a voice".

"Had she been with Motown, Motown would've been way way bigger than what it was, she would've been the queen, she really would've been the queen", he said.

One person influenced by Franklin is Desiree Washington, a local singer who performs as the legend in the musical. "But you know, I'm not being amusing, my voice was down a little bit".

"You know a force from heaven". 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.

At a concert in Detroit Monday night, Beyoncé and Jay-Z dedicated their show to Franklin. President George W. Bush awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. That same year, Detroit named a street after her.

"I'm doing well generally", she told Us Weekly.

"We all were blessed with pure talent", said the 53-year-old musician, who was visiting from Milwaukee. "She always had the pulse of what women were dealing with".

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