Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, is gravely ill. It doesn’t look good.

We’ve been hearing stories of Aretha Franklin’s heath for years now. We know of canceled shows, unknown medical procedures, and rumours of cancer and obesity-related ailments. Aretha is 76 and is apparently gravely ill in Detroit. Family and friends have gathered around her bedside fearing the worst.

She secretly underwent surgery in 2010 to remove a tumour of some sort which eventually led to rumours that she had died of pancreatic cancer.

Earlier in life, she battled with alcoholism and was a chainsmoker. All three of her siblings have died from various cancers.

She recovered enough to resume touring. That ended in early 2017 when she announced her retirement from the road. Her last public performance was at an Elton John AIDS benefit in New York last November 2.

There were attempts to schedule some shows earlier this year, but she was told by her doctor that she needed at least two months’ rest.

A couple of things about Aretha:

  • She was the first female performer to be inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • She’s won 20 Grammys along with three special achievement awards: The Legend Award in 1991, the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994, and the MusiCares Person of the Year in 2008.
  • Aretha has had 112 singles on the Billboard charts, including 77 which made it into the Hot 100. That makes her the most-charted woman in history.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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