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Prayers for The Queen of Soul: Aretha Franklin is in hospice care

Aretha Franklin is in hospice care at her home, a source close to the 76-year-old singer told CNN’s Don Lemon. Jay-Z and Beyonce came to Ford Field in Detroit on Monday night, but the ailing Queen of Soul was very much on everybody’s minds.

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African American singer Aretha Franklin smiles for her headshot, January 4, 1978. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)

The Carters dedicated their show to Aretha Franklin on Monday, but it was DJ Khaled who brought the house down when he got everyone to sing one of Franklin’s iconic songs. Many of the fans heading to Ford Field for the show thought something special would happen, and it did. Tens of thousands of people sang “Respect” to show their respect to Franklin.

(CNN) Word of the “Queen of Soul” being gravely ill was first reported by Showbiz 411. Showbiz 411’s Roger Friedman told CNN: “She has a great family, she’s surrounded by love, and the world is sending prayers. All further announcements will be made by her family. We just want to send love and prayers.” The soul singer has been dogged by reports of failing health for years and appeared frail in recent photos, but she has kept her struggles private.
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Aretha Franklin in 1970

In February of 2017, Franklin announced that she would stop touring, but she continued to book concerts. Earlier this year, she canceled a pair of performances, including at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, on doctor’s orders, according to Rolling Stone. In 2010, she was forced to cancel to scheduled performances due to fractured ribs and abdominal pain.
Franklin’s career spans six decades. She got her start singing gospel music in a Detroit church where her father was the minister. In 1960, she signed with her first major record label. By 1968, Franklin was an established soul chart-topper with hits like “Respect,” “Chain of Fools” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”
That same year she was tapped to sing at the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. where she performed a stirring rendition of “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.”
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Franklin was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1987 a year before the Beatles were inducted. In 1994, at age 52, she became the youngest at that time to receive a Kennedy Center Honor. Franklin has 44 Grammy nominations and 18 wins. She has performed at the inaugurations of three presidents: Jimmy CarterBill Clinton and Barack Obama. President George W. Bush awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.
Franklin’s last album, “A Brand New Me,” released in 2017, remixed her vintage vocals with newly recorded arrangements. Franklin’s last known performance was at a private gala for the Elton John AIDS Foundation last November.
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