For years now, the world has speculated that legendary singer Aretha Franklin has been battling cancer. In 2010, rumors of her having pancreatic cancer spread like wildfire on the internet, though the singer adamantly denied them.
“I don’t know where ‘pancreatic cancer’ came from," she said in 2011. “I was sitting there reading the newspaper and it was saying someone in my family said that. No one in my family ever said that to anybody.”
Franklin did tell Access Hollywood, however, that she had required surgery in 2010 due to a health scare.
“He [the doctor] said, ‘The surgery that you just had is going to add 15 to 20 more years to your life,'” the "Respect" singer said.
In March of 2018, Franklin was ordered by a doctor to stop performing. She had to cancel two major shows, and it got the rumor mill stirring once again.
“Aretha Franklin has been ordered by her doctor to stay off the road and rest completely for at least the next two months,” her management said in a statement. “She is extremely disappointed she cannot perform at this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival as she had expected and hoped to.”
But even if it's not cancer that is ailing the 24-time Grammy recipient, she is reportedly "gravely ill" with something, and could be close to death.
According to Showbiz 411, “Aretha is surrounded by family and people close to her” in Detroit and “the family is asking for prayers and privacy."
Though this has not been confirmed by Franklin's family or management, NBC reporter and close friend Harry Hairston seemed to confirm the news on Twitter.
Spoke with close friend of Aretha Franklin and family. Iconic singer not doing well.— Harry Hairston (@harryhairston) August 13, 2018
Regardless of what is ailing the legendary performer, we hope she is resting comfortably and not in pain. Even if she does not want to make her struggle public, we are with her in her battle.