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Aretha Franklin 'believes she'll pull through'

OPTIMISTIC: Aretha Franklin

FANS HAVE shared their thoughts and prayers with Aretha Franklin, who is reportedly 'gravely ill'.

But according to her nephew Tom Franklin, the soul star "believes she'll pull through" her period of ill health.

Tom spoke to People magazine and insisted they are all hopeful that she will recover from her bout of ill health, saying that although she "is sick," her family is "trying to keep her spirits up and go from there."

"We believe she'll pull through it, she believes she'll pull through it, and that's the important thing," he added.

He also said the 76-year-old was resting at home and surrounded by family.

"I saw her a week ago Friday and we talked for about 45 minutes to an hour," he recalled. "My brother was there on Saturday and she was alert, talking, laughing, joking... She's watching TV, so god forbid she sees all of this 'Aretha's dead,' so I don't want to dampen her spirits on that."

News of the Queen of Soul's ill health was first shared by veteran reporter Roger Friedman for his column Other reporters have also shared information, with Detroit news anchor Evrod Cassimy tweeting, "I am so saddened to report that the Queen of Soul and my good friend, Aretha Franklin is gravely ill. I spoke with her family members this morning. She is asking for your prayers at this time."

The singer announced she was retiring from touring in 2017, and her final performance took place at the Elton John AIDS Foundation benefit in New York in November. Earlier this year, she was forced to cancel a string of shows on doctors' orders.

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