The music world may soon lose a legend.
According to multiple reports, Aretha Franklin is nearing the end of her brave battle with cancer and may pass away any day now.
The way some websites have written about it, she may even pass away any moment now.
About 18 months after Franklin announced her retirement from the recording industry, telling a Detroit TV station that she felt "exuberant" about this decision, sources tell TMZ that the singer's health is failing.
An insider - who describes him/herself as a longtime and dear friend of the artist's - has told TMZ that he/she was given a warning several days ago:
Prepare yourself, this personwas told, she's dying.
The source adds Franklin was down to 86 pounds at the time this very unfortunate news was share -- and that everyone in Aretha's circle was told, about two weeks ago, that "she could go any time."
Franklin is 76 years old.
It's unknown at this time just which type of cancer she has reportedly been diagnosed with.
Over the last few years, Franklin has performanced on a limited basis, most recently taking to the stage last November at an Elton John AIDS Foundation event.
She is pictured in both snapshots above at this event.
The tragic news that the singer's health is failing came from Roger Friedman over at Showbiz411; while WDIV TV in Detroit says Aretha's family has confirmed she is gravely ill.
This, unfortunately, seems to be a confirmed report.
Franklin is known as The Queen of Soul.
One could make a convincing argument that she's the most successful and/or influential female vocalist of all-time.
Yes, there's Mariah Carey. Yes, there is now Beyonce.
But go ahead and ask either of those women who they admired as an aspiring singer, and then consider the following list of Franklin's accomplishments:
- She was responsible for more than 20 number-one singles in the United States.
- She was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- She won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance for eight consecutive years from 1968 to 1975.
- She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2005.
"I feel very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now," Franklinonce said, in what sounds like a monumental understatement.
Roland Martin, a reporter who frequently covers Franklin, took to Twitter to share more about her condition on Monday morning.
"Many of you are asking me to confirm the health status of @ArethaFranklin," he said, adding:
"Folks, I’ve known for several months. The Queen is surrounded by loved ones. That’s all I will say for now. Please keep her, the family and her longtime support staff in your prayers."
Upon reading about Franklin's potential, near-future fate, many top artists jumped on Twitter today and expressed their surprise and sorrow.
"My prayers are with Aretha Franklin & her family during this difficult time," Tweeted Missy Elliott. "MUST CELEBRATE the Living Legends while they are here to see it. So many have given us decades of Timeless music."
And Paula Abdul wrote:
"My love, prayers and warm thoughts are with Aretha Franklin—the Queen of Soul. I’m praying for her and her health. Thank you to all her family and friends who are standing by her and loving her through her illness.
"I’m holding you all in my heart."
And then Carey summed up everyone's take at the moment with the short and simple:
Praying for the Queen of Soul.