Reports have come out today that musical legend Aretha Franklin, who announced her plans to retire last year, is "gravely ill" in her home in Detroit. Prior to today's alarming news, plans had already been put in place to pay tribute to The Queen Of Soul at Madison Square Garden this fall.

The all-star tribute concert to Franklin was apparently concocted by Sony Music’s Clive Davis, according to Showbiz411. He ran the idea for the concert by Franklin last spring, and she approved—she apparently "hoped to be in the audience if not actually perform[ing]."

"Clive Davis Presents: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin" is scheduled to take place at MSG on November 14th; the only performer confirmed so far seems to be Jennifer Hudson, who is also slated to play Aretha in a biopic for Sony/Tri-Star. The report mentions the possibility of many of the famous artists who wrote songs for Franklin or had their songs covered by Franklin performing, including Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Elton John and more.

Detroit news anchor Evrod Cassimy said he spoke with the 76-year-old Franklin today: "I am so saddened to report that the Queen of Soul and my good friend, Aretha Franklin is gravely ill," he wrote. "I spoke with her family members this evening. She is asking for your prayers at this time. I’ll have more details as I’m allowed to release."

Franklin underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2010, and has battled undisclosed health issues in recent years, cancelling several planned concerts earlier this year as a result. Her last live performance came on November 2nd, 2017 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York; her last full concert performance was at Philadelphia’s Mann Center in August 2017.

Sources close to Franklin described the singer to the AP as "seriously ill," although they did not provide any additional details as to the severity or the cause. TMZ reported that people in the singer’s circle were told two weeks ago that “she could go any time” and that her weight was down to 85 lbs. Earlier today TMZ reported that "doctors have informed Aretha's family today (Monday) is the day 'Aretha will pass.'"


In 2017, she said she was planning on recording one more (as yet unreleased) album (with multiple tracks produced by Stevie Wonder); perform a select number of performances; then retire from music: "I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from, and where it is now. I'll be pretty much satisfied, but I'm not going to go anywhere and just sit down and do nothing. That wouldn't be good either."

Throughout her six decade music career, Franklin sold more than 75 million albums, won 18 Grammy Awards and recorded 20 No. 1 R&B hits. In 1987, she became the first women inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Celebrities and fans have offered an outpouring of support in the wake of the news of her illness.