Fans and celebrities sent an outpouring of prayers and love to Aretha Franklin on Monday amidst reports that the Queen of Soul is gravely ill in Detroit.
Beyoncé dedicated her Detroit show to Franklin. “We love you,” she said Monday night with Jay-Z by her side at Ford Field. Earlier in the evening on the same stage, DJ Khaled played Franklin’s hit “Respect” to a roaring crowd.
“Praying for the Queen of Soul,” tweeted Mariah Carey, who appeared with the music legend in 1998 on the first “VH1 Divas” special.
Reports: Aretha Franklin ‘gravely ill’ in Detroit hospital
Former President Bill Clinton said Franklin’s music “has been such an important part of our lives the last 50 years.” Clinton encouraged people around the world to “lift her up by listening and sharing her songs that have meant the most to you.” He tweeted Monday night: “Like people all around the world, Hillary and I are thinking about Aretha Franklin tonight & listening to her music.”
By Monday morning, Franklin was among the top trending topics on Twitter.
Missy Elliott, Ciara, Paula Abdul and Carnie Wilson were among the numerous celebrities who joined the chorus of love expressed toward Franklin. Her last public performance was at Philadelphia’s Mann Center in August 2017.
Chance the Rapper posted a weeping emoji and linked to video of Franklin’s epic performance at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors ceremony, where she saluted inductee Carole King by singing “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”
Aretha Franklin absolutely stealing the show at the 2015 Kenedy Centre Honours. Some of her tracks from the 60s are up there with my favourites, but none send shivers down my spine quite like this performance
“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda contributed to what he described as “the galaxy of prayers for Aretha today.”
Aretha Franklin ‘gravely ill’ and surrounded by loved ones https://lat.ms/2vFxbQf
“Please pray for this amazing national treasure,” posted Democratic activist, author and strategist Donna Brazile of Franklin, whose many career high points have included performing at President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration.
Please pray for this amazing national treasure.#ArethaFranklin Is Reportedly In ‘Gravely Ill’ Condition ‘Gravely Ill’ Condition
The legendary singer is being hospitalized in Detroit.
For many of those responding to the news, it was an opportunity to share memories of some of Franklin’s greatest moments.
Detroit native Jemele Hill, a former “SportsCenter” host and current senior correspondent for The Undefeated website, linked on Twitter to a video of Franklin singing “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Loved You)” at the White House.
Just read the reports about Aretha Franklin. Reminds me of that time Re-Re blessed the White House with my favorite song of hers #GetWellQueen https://youtu.be/ZULpxWcUZyE
Hill used a hashtag that sums up the feelings of Franklin’s global following: “#GetWellQueen.”
Abdul “Duke” Fakir, the lone surviving original member of the Four Tops, told the Associated Press on Monday morning they have been “very close” for decades and their most recent conversation was about a week ago by phone.
“She was telling me she rides around the city every now and then — she talks about how beautiful it is again,” Fakir said. “We were reminiscing about how blessed we were — only a couple two of us are around from that era. We were just kind of reminiscing about the good times we had.”
Fakir, who calls Franklin “baby sis” because he’s older than she is by six years, said despite her health troubles “she was talking about the future.”
“She talked about this great, big special she was going to have in New York, with all her great friends performing,” he said. “It made me feel good as well — she was still hoping and wishing and dreaming as we do in this business.”
Contributing: Brian McCollum, The Associated Press