Khalid Says Aretha Franklin "Deserves" Title As Queen Of Soul

Legendary US singer Aretha Franklin

When asked about legendary singer Aretha Franklin's much disputed health this week, an anonymous longtime friend informed the Detroit Free Press, "It's in God's hands".

Dozens gathered at New Bethel Baptist Church for a 5:00 a.m. (0900 GMT) service dedicated to the 76-year-old who influenced generations as one of the reigning divas of American popular music for five decades.

Stevie Wonder and her ex-husband Glynn Turman paid the singer a visit, Franklin's publicist Gwendolyn Quinn told CNN. "I'll have more details as I'm allowed to release".

News from Franklin's camp concerning her health has been limited, but rumours began in March, when the singer cancelled two of her concerts in New Jersey.

'She is seriously ill and surrounded by family members who appreciate the outpouring of love and support they have received'.

Last February, Franklin announced that she would be retiring by the end of the year, after making one more album.

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Franklin's nephew, Tim Franklin, told People Tuesday, "She's alert, laughing, teasing, able to recognize people".

'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".

Dubbed the Queen of Soul, she announced her partial retirement previous year, saying she would release one last album and perform at "some select things".

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

Look at Aretha Franklin's complete Official UK Chart history here.

Though Franklin is still alive, tributes are already pouring out in preparation for her death.

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