Aretha Franklin "Gravely Ill" In Michigan

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For years now, the world has speculated that legendary singer Aretha Franklin has been battling cancer.

Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul, is reportedly surrounded by family and friends and is in failing health.

She also revealed it would be her a year ago performing live as she announced plans to retire.

It's unclear what may have led to Franklin's hospitalization, but her family is reportedly asking for "prayers and privacy".

She told Detroit's WDIV Local 4 TV station: "This will be my past year".

The 76-year-old soul legend - who last performed at the Elton John Aids Foundation party in NY in November - is said to be at her home in Detroit.

In 2010, she cancelled concerts and took a step back from the spotlight after abdominal surgery for an undisclosed illness.

Last year, she was forced to deny a cruel death hoax after a tweet went viral claiming she had died.

Aretha began performing at a young age, singing gospel music at a church in Detroit where her father was a minister.

"Franklin's hits include "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (1968), "Day Dreaming" (1972), "Jump to It" (1982), "Freeway of Love" (1985), and "A Rose Is Still A Rose", (1998).

She is the recipient of 20-Grammy awards and 3-lifetime achievement awards.