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Aretha Franklin "gravely ill," surrounded by family

Aretha Franklin is reported to have failing health, asks for prayers.
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Aretha Franklin's family has told WDIV-TV (Channel 4) that the legendary singer is "gravely ill" and she is asking for prayers on Monday morning. 

News anchor for the station, Evrod Cassimy tweeted out that he had spoken with the family and they confirmed the news. 

Known as The Queen of Soul, Franklin turned 76 in March and her most recent performance was at the Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York. 

Earlier in 2017, Franklin announced that she would retire and she would only perform at "some select things."

Franklin's career spans over six decades, beginning with her gospel roots in Memphis, Tennessee. 

It wasn't until the early 60s that the singer started on the road to commercial success, later in the decade shooting to number one with her re-imagination of Otis Redding's ballad "Respect." Ths song becoming an anthem for not only women but the Civil Rights Movement of the times. 

“I don’t think it’s bold at all. I think it’s quite natural that we all want respect — and should get it," she said of the song on its 50 year anniversary. 

In the 80's Franklin reclaimed her position on the music charts with a few hits including "Freeway of Love" and "I Knew You Were Waiting," a duet with the late George Michael in 1986. 

Jennifer Hudson is scheduled to play Franklin in a biopic headed to theaters in 2019.