5 am vigil to pray for queen of soul Aretha Franklin

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The Say A Little Prayer soul legend, 76, is surrounded by her loved ones in Detroit, nine months after her last performance at the Elton John AIDS Foundation party in NY.

Beyond "Respect", her powerful cover of the Otis Redding tune that became her calling card, Franklin had dozens of Top 40 singles, according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Check out photos from happier times during her birthday celebration a few years ago below! I loved the response from the audience and everyone who has been calling and texting.

"God give his own gifts and her gift was to sing, not only secular music but gospel music", Peter Spivey said, Deacon at New Bethel Baptist Church.

She went on to explain how satisfying it was to hit the high notes in the song at her age. "And the way you know that you can", she told Vogue. Folks, I've known for several months. And I thought about what I would've done if my voice had been exactly where I wanted it to be. Even when I was waiting in the wings to come on, there was air there.

Reports have come out today that musical legend Aretha Franklin, who announced her plans to retire past year, is "gravely ill" in her home in Detroit.

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"We believe she'll pull through it, she believes she'll pull through it, and that's the important thing".

Franklin's last album, "A Brand New Me", released in 2017, remixed her vintage vocals with newly recorded arrangements.

A source close to Franklin told TMZ he was told to "prepare yourself, she's dying".

"We know she's battled cancer since 2010 and struggled with health on numerous occasions recently".

Her remaining family are said to be asking fans for "prayers and privacy", according to Showbiz411, which claims Aretha was "miraculously" able to perform her last public show in August 2017 at Philadelphia's Mann Center despite "fighting exhaustion and dehydration".

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