AP Source: Soul icon Aretha Franklin is seriously ill

NEW YORK — Fans and friends, including Mariah Carey and Missy Elliott, offered prayers and well wishes to Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, who is seriously ill.

A person close to Franklin, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to publicly talk about the topic, told The Associated Press on Monday that the singer is seriously ill. No more details were provided.

Carey, who considers Franklin one of her biggest influences, wrote on Twitter that she is "praying for the Queen of Soul." Missy Elliott said that the public has to celebrate iconic artists before they die.

"So many (of them) have given us decades of Timeless music," the rapper wrote on Twitter.

Mark Frost, Andy Cohen and Ciara also posted about Franklin, who is considered one of the greatest singers of all-time and is known for hits like "Respect" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."

Franklin, who had battled undisclosed health issues in recent years, canceled planned concerts earlier this year after she was ordered by her doctor to stay off the road and rest up. She was originally scheduled to perform on her 76th birthday in March in Newark, New Jersey, and at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in April.

Last year, the icon announced her plans to retire, saying she would perform at "some select things." One of those select events was a gala for Elton John's 25th anniversary of his AIDS foundation in November in New York City, where Franklin closed the event with a collection of songs including "I Say a Little Prayer" and "Freeway."

Abdul "Duke" Fakir, the lone surviving original member of the Four Tops, told the AP on Monday morning they have been "very close" for decades and their most recent conversation was about a week ago by phone. Fakir said they talked after Franklin had stopped by his Detroit house when he wasn't there.

"She was telling me she rides around the city every now and then — she talks about how beautiful it is again," Fakir said. "We were reminiscing about how blessed we were — only a couple two of us are around from that era. We were just kind of reminiscing about the good times we had."

Fakir, who calls Franklin "baby sis" because he's older than she is by six years, said despite her health troubles "she was talking about the future."

"She talked about this great, big special she was going to have in New York, with all her great friends performing," he said. "It made me feel good as well — she was still hoping and wishing and dreaming as we do in this business."

_____

Associated Press Writer Jeff Karoub contributed to this report from Detroit.

You may also like these

At 93, legendary climber Fred Beckey still...

Aug 13, 2016

Legendary Seattle climber Fred Beckey is the focus of a new documentary film about his life

NBC audience soars with first full week of...

Aug 16, 2016

With blanket coverage of the Rio Games all last week, NBC had the ratings game all to itself in...

DeGeneres defends herself after posting photo...

Aug 17, 2016

Ellen DeGeneres says she's not racist after receiving backlash on social media for posting an...

'American Horror Story' coming to Halloween...

Aug 17, 2016

The ghosts, vampires and other freaky misfits from "American Horror Story" are coming to Universal...

'Mr. Robot' mobile game launches as phony...

Aug 17, 2016

A fake messaging app inspired by the USA Network hacker 'Mr. Robot' was released Tuesday for mobile...

There are so many celebrities out there, but who’s the real Diva? Discover more on your favorite celebrities and get closer to them only here in The Diva Today

Contact us: sales[at]thedivatoday.com