Vigil held at Detroit church for Aretha Franklin

Tanya Cunningham
August 17, 2018

The pastor of the church Aretha Franklin's father served for years is drawing strength now from the singer's relationship with God.

Her father, a civil rights leader who worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr., remained at New Bethel Baptist Church until 1979, when he was shot twice at point-blank range during an apparent robbery attempt at his home on Detroit's West Side.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton tweeted Monday that he and Hillary Clinton "are thinking about Aretha Franklin tonight & listening to her music that has been such an important part of our lives the last 50 years".

Stevie Wonder visited the Queen of Soul on Tuesday according to her longtime publicist Gwendolyn Quinn confirmed to Us Weekly.

"She is seriously ill and surrounded by family members who appreciate the outpouring of love and support they have received".

"Family is there with her".

Earlier this week, fans became concerned for the singer, after it was reported that she was "gravely ill".


The Rev. Jesse Jackson visited Franklin on Wednesday, said Rainbow Push spokeswoman Chinta Strausberg.

"Its lineup has not yet been announced, but it seems likely that it will include soul and R&B singers covering classic Franklin tunes like "Respect", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and "Rock Steady".

"And the last time I talked to her, she just said 'I'm not to be anxious about, and the church is not to be anxious about'". "My brother was there on Saturday and she was alert, talking, laughing, joking", he continued.

He also added that while his aunt "is sick", the family is doing their best to "keep her spirits up".

"Aretha Franklin has been ordered by her doctor to stay off the road and rest completely for at least the next two months", Franklin's management said in a statement at the time.

She and Turman were married from 1978 to 1984. He wrote that she was "gravely ill in Detroit". She is asking for your prayers at this time.

Following the reports, celebrities across the world led the well-wishers on social media.

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