Aretha Franklin is surrounded by her loved ones and resting at home, despite being called “gravely ill” by a close friend on August 13.
People Magazine reported that the 76-year-old singer’s nephew Tim Franklin stated, “She’s alert, laughing, teasing, able to recognize people.”
“Family is there with her. She’s home.”
Tim Frankin then explained that he had just seen his aunt a week ago and she was in good spirits.
“I saw her a week ago Friday and we talked for about 45 minutes to an hour. My brother was there on Saturday and she was alert, talking, laughing, joking,” Tim Franklin continued. “She’s watching TV, so God forbid she sees all of this ‘Aretha’s dead.’ I don’t want to dampen her spirits on that.”
Despite her illness, Franklin’s family is “trying to keep her spirits up” reported People.
However, her family is choosing to remain hopeful. Her nephew remarked that although Franklin “is sick,” her family is focusing on rallying around the legendary soul singer.
“We believe she’ll pull through it, she believes she’ll pull through it, and that’s the important thing,” Tim Franklin stated.
CNN reported late in the evening of August 13 that the iconic singer is in hospice care.
“I am so saddened to report that the Queen of Soul and my good friend, Aretha Franklin is gravely ill. I spoke with her family members this morning. She is asking for your prayers at this time. I’ll have more details as I’m allowed to release,” Detroit news anchor Evrod Cassimy wrote on Twitter.
BREAKING NEWS: I am so saddened to report that the Queen of Soul and my good friend, Aretha Franklin is gravely ill. I spoke with her family members this morning. She is asking for your prayers at this time. I’ll have more details as I’m allowed to release.
— Evrod Cassimy (@EvrodCassimy) August 13, 2018
He continued his post by explaining that Franklin was alert and speaking, and surrounded by close friends and family.
Franklin announced her plans to retire from her music career one year ago in February of 2017. She did return to the stage for one performance in August of 2017 at the Mann Center in Philadelphia.
After more than 50 years in the public eye, the singer noted to Entertainment Weekly that she was ready to cut back on her workload. “This will be my last year,” Franklin stated. “I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it.”
But she did say at the time that she would continue to do “some select things … one a month, for six months out of the year.”
Showbiz 411 reporter Roger Friedman was first to report the singer was “gravely ill,” sharing that Franklin’s family is “asking for prayers and privacy.”