Aretha Franklin Reportedly Gravely Ill

Aretha Franklin via her Facebook page in 2014

The Queen of Soul, who is 76-years-old, struggled with medical issues for years.

The legendary Aretha Franklin is said to be "gravely ill" and surrounded by her loved ones, according to an unconfirmed report from the US.

She publicly performed at Philadelphia's Mann Center in August 2017 despite battling exhaustion and dehydration.

A statement released at the time said doctors had advised Aretha to rest for two months and she was "extremely disappointed" that she was unable to perform.

It's unclear what may have led to Franklin's hospitalization, but her family is reportedly asking for "prayers and privacy".

Speaking to Detroit radio station WDIV Local 4, she said: "I must tell you, I am retiring this year". Her most recent performance was last November for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in NY. "This will be my past year".

Although Showbiz411 reported Franklin battled cancer in 2010, the singer has long denied she was ever diagnosed.

Throughout her lengthy career, Franklin accumulated 18 Grammy awards, including one for Lifetime Achievement.

The legendary artist has had over 20 number one singles in the United States and won the Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance eight years in a row - from 1968 to 1975 and in 1987 she was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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