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Aretha Franklin's Birthday Celebration

Source: Mark Sagliocco / Getty

UPDATE 5:00 PM CST

New reports indicate that Aretha is not only gravely ill but that her death is “imminent,” according to PEOPLE. Sources close to Franklin told the magazine that close friends and family were informed that she could go “at any time” over two weeks ago.

“She has been ill for a long time,” a longtime friend told PEOPLE. “She did not want people to know and she didn’t make it public.”

ORIGINAL STORY

The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin is reportedly “gravelly ill,” according to Showbiz411. The singer is currently in her native Detroit surrounded by family and friends.

An 18-time Grammy winner, numerous reports about Franklin’s health in the past months have had her either seriously ill or completely fine. Last year, the 76-year-old Franklin revealed her stunning weight loss, which again brought rumors that the weight loss was cancer related.

RELATED: Rep For Aretha Franklin Denies Deathbed Rumors: “Please Don’t Believe This News That Is Trending”

RELATED: Aretha Franklin Forced To Cancel Concerts

She told JET earlier this year, “I am not one to do a lot of talking about my personal health or business,” she said at the time. “Not too much, not too much. There are a lot of people who will talk about anything, as long as there is somebody listening. But I am not one of those people. That’s not Aretha.”

She added, “I am not going to even deal with that. “I don’t have to talk about my health with anybody other than my doctors. The problem has been resolved.”

RELATED: Casting News! Jennifer Hudson Tapped To Star In MGM’s Aretha Franklin Biopic

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The World’s Most Influential Diva: Aretha Franklin
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