Aretha Franklin Is Seriously Ill And Resting At Her Detroit Home, Sources Say

Aretha Franklin’s fans are now lining up to pay their respects to the soul singer as she lies in repose.

The Respect singer is lying in state in a gold coffin as the preparations ahead of her funeral ceremony on Thursday commence.

While Aretha’s body is now lying in repose at Charles H Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, fans have been lining up to visit her inside.

It’s believed Aretha’s coffin is an open casket.

Bill Clinton will be speaking at Aretha Frankin’s funeral (Picture: Getty Images)

After two days, Aretha will move to the Chene Park Amphitheatre in Detroit where Bill Clinton has been announced as one of the speakers.

The former President, as well as Rev Jesse Jackson, Rev Al Sharpton and Motown legend Smokey Robnson will be among the speakers confirmed for the service.

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Her memorial at Chene Park will be held on 30 August.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Soul Brother/WWD/REX/Shutterstock (9210329cz) Aretha Franklin Elton John Aids Foundation Fall Gala, Inside, New York, USA - 07 Nov 2017
Aretha Franklin’s funeral will take place later this month (Picture: Soul Brother/WWD/REX/Shutterstock)

She will then be laid to rest the next day, with Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Hudson rumoured to perform at her official funeral – which will reflect her ‘strong gospel roots’ and will be held at the Greater Grace Temple.

Only her close friends and family are due to attend.

Aretha died earlier this month following a long battle with ill health.

The legendary singer’s death at the age of 76 was announced by her publicist, who revealed she died at her home in Detroit on Thursday 16 August.

Franklin died following a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

A statement read: ‘Franklin’s official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin’s oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute.’

Rumours of her worsening ill health emerged earlier this year year following her retirement from music at the age of 74.

American soul singer Aretha Franklin, circa 1965. (Photo by Val Wilmer/Redferns/Getty Images)
Aretha leaves behind a legacy of music (Picture: Val Wilmer/Redferns/Getty Images)

In an interview with Detroit TV station WDIV Local 4 at the start of 2017, she had said: ‘I must tell you, I am retiring this year.

‘This will be my last year. I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it.’

Franklin claimed she will still be doing ‘some select things, many one a month, for six months out of the year’.

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She added: ‘I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from, and where it is now.’

In July, she then announced she is to release a new album with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Reports have claimed she could have been battling the disease for eight years, however this has not been confirmed by her family.

The Detroit native had been ‘gravely ill’ for several days, and died surrounded by friends and family, who asked for prayers.

Aretha Franklin's family statement in full

‘In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.

‘We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.’

Funeral arrangements are expected to be announced over the coming days.

Franklin – who was dubbed The Queen of Soul – was best known for her hit songs Respect (You Make Me Feel) A Natural Woman, Think and Spanish Harlem.

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The American legend was said to be ‘extremely disappointed’ when she was forced to pull out of one of her last shows in March 2018.

The star had previously cancelled another date in August 2017, when she dropped out of headlining the Martha’s Vineyard Concert series at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs, due to an undisclosed medical condition.

Aretha Franklin performs in 2017 (Picture: Getty)

Radio host Tom Joyner, a close friend of Franklin’s, announced before her death that the 18-time Grammy winner has been in hospice care for a week; sources close to Aretha told TMZ they had been informed a week prior to ‘prepare yourself, she’s dying.’

The insider added to the publication that Aretha was down to 86 pounds and her health was failing and that they were told ‘she could go any time.’

The star has suffered from ill health in recent years and cancelled a number of gigs in 2010 to have emergency surgery. She denied reports that she had pancreatic cancer a few years later, although later admitted to having had a tumour removed.

The actor had previously called time on her legendary career, following one final album release, a collaboration with Stevie Wonder which was released last September.

She said at the time: ‘I must tell you, I am retiring this year. I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now.’

One of her final performances was in December 2015, when she gave a spine-chillingly brilliant performance of (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors during the section for honoree Carole King, who co-wrote the song.

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The star – who recorded a total of 112 charted singles on Billboard – also won a total of 18 Grammy Awards and passed away as one of the best-selling musical artists of all time with a career spanning over five decades.

Franklin found success in Hollywood starring in the 1980 musical comedy film Blue Brothers which also starred the late James Brown, Carrie Fisher and Ray Charles.

The I Say A Little Prayer hitmaker received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1979 and her voice was declared a Michigan ‘natural resource’ in 1985.

In 1987, Franklin became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Seated portrait of R&B singer Aretha Franklin during her youth. In this photo her left hand is featured prominently with a diamond bracelet on her wrist and engagement ring on her finger.
Aretha Franklin during her youth (Picture:  Bettmann)

Franklin, who was made Whitney Houston’s honourary ‘aunt’ by family, leaves behind four sons.

She became pregnant at the age 12 in 1955 with her son Clarence. At the age of 14 in 1957, Franklin had a second child named Edward.

Franklin’s third child, Ted White, Jr., was born in 1964 and is known professionally as Teddy Richards and has provided guitar backing for his mother’s band during live concerts.

Her youngest son, Kecalf Cunningham born in 1970, is the child of her road manager Ken Cunningham.

It is understood she was working on a studio album featuring duets with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Sir Elton John and Lionel Richie..

Aretha Franklin's best hits

Respect, 1967

(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, 1968

I Say A Littler Prayer, 1968

I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me), with George Michael, 1986

Think, 1968

Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves – with Eurythmics, 1985

Let It Be, 1970

Save Me, 1967

Son Of A Preacher Man, 1970

You Send Me, 1968

Aretha Franklin (Picture: Dia Dipasupil/WireImage)

Her net worth is estimated at being $80million (£62.8m), according to Celebrity Net Worth.

She’s sold over 75 million records, also receiving an impressive 18 Grammy awards – as well as two honorary Grammy awards.

MORE: Aretha Franklin’s body arrives in gold casket as singer lies in state for two days

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Aretha Franklin Is Seriously Ill And Resting At Her Detroit Home, Sources Say

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Aretha Franklin Is Seriously Ill And Resting At Her Detroit Home, Sources Say