Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin Gravely Ill Legendary singer coined the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin is seriously ill, according her family told Detroit's WDIV-TV on Monday. WDIV anchor Evrod Cassimy wrote in a tweet: "I spoke with her family members this morning. She is asking for your prayers at this time." This follows an earlier report from Roger Friedman's Showbiz 411, saying that the 76-year-old soul legend is surrounded by "family and people close to her" in Detroit. The 76 year old soul legend had to cancel two concerts in March, scheduled in New Jersey. According to a statement from her management team, she was following doctors' orders to stay off the road and rest completely for two months, and that she was "extremely disappointed she cannot perform as she had expected and hoped to." Franklin's most recent performance was on Nov. 2, 2017, for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York. Last year, Franklin announced her plans to retire after releasing one final album, saying she would perform at "some select things." A biopic starring Jennifer Hudson as Franklin is scheduled to start filming in 2019.