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Aretha Franklin 'Gravely Ill' and Surrounded By Family

Aretha Franklin is "gravely ill" with her family gathered around her saying their goodbyes, according to a US news report.

According to Showbiz 411, the 76-year-old US soul legend is surrounded by loved ones in Detroit.

Branded the Queen of Soul for her groundbreaking voice, Franklin has battled a string of health problems in recent years.

She was forced to deny she had pancreatic cancer in 2011 - later admitting to having had a tumour removed - and has previously struggled with alcoholism, obesity and a heavy smoking habit.

Her last performance was at the Elton John AIDS Foundation party in New York in November.

Franklin began her music career in the late 1950s and has won 18 Grammy Awards. In 1960, Franklin was signed to Columbia Records where she only achieved modest success. It wasn't until she signed with Atlantic Records in 1967 that she achieved commercial success with songs like 'Respect,' '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,' and 'Think'. 

Her last album, 'A Brand New Me', was released in 2017.

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