Aretha Franklin is “alert” and resting at home with loved ones amid reports that the Queen of Soul is “gravely ill.”
Franklin’s nephew, Tim Franklin, confirmed the 76-year-old star’s status to People following an anonymous source on Sunday revealing that the soul singer’s family was “asking for prayers and privacy.”
“She’s alert, laughing, teasing, able to recognize people,” Tim Franklin revealed. “Family is there with her. She’s home.”
“I saw her a week ago Friday and we talked for about 45 minutes to an hour. My brother was there on Saturday and she was alert, talking, laughing, joking,” he added.
“She’s watching TV, so god forbid she sees all of this ‘Aretha’s dead,’ so I don’t want to dampen her spirits on that.”
A friend also confirmed to the magazine that the 18-time Grammy winner has “been ill for a long time” and that loved ones have reportedly been warned that “death is imminent.”
The family is reportedly hopeful that Franklin’s health will turn around for the good. Tim says the family is “trying to keep her spirits up and go from there.”
“We believe she’ll pull through it, she believes she’ll pull through it, and that’s the important thing,” he said.
Since news broke about Aretha Franklin’s health, fans and celebrities have extended an outpouring of support.
On Monday night, music superstars Beyoncé and Jay-Z dedicated their “On The Run II” concert to Franklin while performing in her hometown, Detroit.
“This show is dedicated to Aretha Franklin,” Beyoncé said, according to the Daily Mail.
The 36-year-old singer later added, “We love you and thank you for all the beautiful music.”
Celebrities who also extended public well wishes to Franklin included Mariah Carey, Ciara, Andy Cohen and former President Bill Clinton.