Aretha Franklin who is considered one of the greatest voices ever, has a dazzling music career which includes classic songs like (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and I Say A Little Prayer.
The mum-of-four who Rolling Stone magazine named the greatest singer of all time, is surrounded by loved ones in the town where she was born. Reports say her family have asked for “prayers and privacy” for the the singing legend.
Aretha Franklin who last performed in November 2017 for the Elton John’s AIDs Foundation concert in New York, battled exhaustion and dehydration to thrill crowds. The music icon started singing in Baptist church as a little girl, where her father was minister. Her powerful voice and soulful tone singled her out as something special.
She was just 12 years old when she first fell pregnant with son Clarence, and then again aged 14, with son Edward. The children’s father was school friend Donald Burk. She launched a secular music career aged 18, but it was in 1967 when she signed with Atlantic Records that her star began to soar.
Merging gospel, soul and pop, Aretha Franklin’s powerful voice cemented her place in music history. She performs other timeless classics such as Spanish Harlem, Chain of Fools, Think, Rocksteady and I Knew You Were Waiting, a 1987 duet with George Michael.
Aretha also makes memorable appearances in The Blues Brothers movies. The singer has battled with her health and weight throughout her life. Aretha Franklin was diagnosed with an ‘unspecified illness’, widely reported to be pancreatic cancer, in 2010, forcing her to cancel a string of live shows.