Aretha Franklin is gravely ill, family says

'The Queen of Soul' had plans to 'retire' after release of new album

DETROIT – Aretha Franklin, "The Queen of Soul," is gravely ill, her family told KSAT 12's sister station WDIV-TV in Detroit.

At this time it is unclear as to what has hospitalized the 76-year-old singer.

In an interview last year, Franklin said she had plans to "retire" after the release of her new album.

Franklin, 76, was born in Memphis, Tenn. in 1942, the daughter of the famous pastor and civil rights activist C. L. Franklin. When Aretha was just 2 years old, the family left Memphis for New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, and a Motor City legend was ready to be born.

Some of Franklin's biggest hits include “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Think” and “Respect."

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