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Reports: 'Queen of Soul' Is Near Death

Aretha Franklin, 76, said to be 'gravely ill'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2018 9:45 AM CDT
Aretha Franklin in 2014.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

(Newser) – Rumors of serious health trouble have circulated about Aretha Franklin for years, and now multiple reports say the 76-year-old is near death. "I am so saddened to report that the Queen of Soul and my good friend, Aretha Franklin is gravely ill," tweets Evrod Cassimy of WDIV in Detroit. "I spoke with her family members this morning. She is asking for your prayers at this time." The AP and TMZ quote their own sources as confirming the news, with the latter site adding that the "Queen of Soul"—and singer of "Respect"—has reportedly been battling cancer. Franklin last performed in public last year, and a biopic starring Jennifer Hudson is in the works, notes the Detroit Free Press. (Read more Aretha Franklin stories.)

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