49ºF

Detroit faith community rallies around 'gravely ill' Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin resting with family and friends

DETROIT – Aretha Franklin's family said the legendary singer is "gravely ill."

Right now, family members have chosen not to publicly reveal the cause of Franklin's health crisis, but they said she is surrounded by loved ones.

Franklin has very strong ties to Detroit. To many, she is synonymous with the city.

With the voice of an angel and a pastor for a father, Franklin maintains strong ties to the faith community, especially one Detroit church.

There are indications that Franklin thought she would be singing Monday and that whatever has been at war with her body wouldn't win. She had plans with her opera vocal coach to learn a new aria just three weeks ago.

Eight weeks ago, Franklin contacted the pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, which was her father's church. She informed the pastor that she would be performing in her annual benefit concert.

On Monday, the people at the church are prayerful that she will return to sing there again.

Franklin is known to be generous with her talent and support, both emotional and financial. She helped to keep a small opera company, Motor City Lyric Opera, afloat to take classical music into schools, and she is known to continue to support her father's house of worship.

You can watch Paula Tutman's full story in the video posted above.

Click here to view ClickOnDetroit's full coverage of Aretha Franklin.


About the Authors: