Vigil Held at Detroit Church for Aretha Franklin

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Aretha Franklin performs on stage at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Commemorates Its 25th Year And Honors Founder Sir Elton John During New York Fall Gala - Show at Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Nov. 7, 2017 in New York City. 

People are praying for Aretha Franklin in the Detroit church where her father was once a pastor. The special vigil at New Bethel Baptist Church began before dawn Wednesday (Aug. 15).   

The prayers come one day after Stevie Wonder visited the ailing Queen of Soul at her home. The Rev. Jesse Jackson and Franklin’s ex-husband, actor Glynn Turman, also visited Franklin, who is seriously ill.    

A person close to Franklin, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to publicly talk about the topic, told The Associated Press on Monday (Aug. 13) that the singer is ill. No more details were provided.

The 76-year-old canceled planned concerts earlier this year after she was ordered by her doctor to stay off the road and rest.

Fans, friends and musicians influenced by Franklin offered positive words to the iconic singer when news broke that she was ill, including Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey, Chaka Khan, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tyler Perry, Missy Elliott and Wayne Brady. At her concert in Detroit on Monday night (Aug. 13) with Jay-Z, Beyonce thanked Franklin for her “beautiful music” and said “we love you.” It was also revealed on Tuesday that a tribute concert to Franklin's six-decade career is planned for November at Madison Square Garden in New York.

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. “We hope you’ll lift her up by listening and sharing her songs that have meant the most to you,” Clinton wrote.

Fans also gathered Tuesday (Aug. 14) in Lafayette Park, directly in front of the White House, to pray for Franklin. With a saxophonist playing nearby, Rocky Twyman clutched a handwritten get-well card made from a white poster and appealed to passing tourists to sign it and pray for the singer. The card read: “Book of Love and Healing for Aretha, the Queen.”​


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