Aretha Franklin has been visited at home by Stevie Wonder, U.S. civil rights leader Jesse Jackson and her ex-husband Glynn Turman.
The singer, 76, a one-time gospel singer whose reign as the ‘Queen of Soul’ has spanned more than 50 years, is under hospice care at her home in Detroit, her publicist Gwendolyn Quinn said on Tuesday.
Gwendolyn declined to discuss Aretha’s ailment, but said: “She’s seriously ill.”
The singer, whose hit songs include Chain of Fools and Think, has a long-standing professional relationship with Stevie Wonder, with whom she performed 13 years ago at the Annual Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards in Pasadena, California.
She and Turman were married from 1978 to 1984.
Aretha’s fans have been flooding social media to express their well wishes, while Beyonce and Jay Z paid tribute to the legend during one of their concerts.
On Monday night the couple dedicated their performance, in Aretha’s hometown of Detroit, to the singer.
Beyonce said of the Respect singer: “We love you” and thanked the 76-year-old for making “beautiful music”.
Other stars have been sending their thoughts to Aretha, whose hits include Think and (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, and to her family.
Singer Mariah Carey tweeted: “Praying for the Queen of Soul”.
La Toya Jackson wrote: “My prayers to Aretha Franklin and her family”.
Missy Elliott shared: “My prayers are with Aretha Franklin and her family during this difficult time… We must celebrate the Living Legends while they are here to see it. So many have given us decades of Timeless music…”
Aretha revealed she was going to retire after releasing one more album in February last year.
She said: “I must tell you, I am retiring this year. I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it.”
Her most recent performance was in November last year at Sir Elton John’s Aids Foundation’s 25th anniversary gala in New York.
In her heyday of the 1960 and 1970s, she dominated the music charts with hits including “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You),” “Baby, I Love You,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” and “Respect,” a cover of an Otis Redding tune that became a song of empowerment during the U.S. civil rights era.