Aretha Franklin: Gravely Ill from Cancer, On Death Bed

The music world may soon lose a legend.

According to multiple reports, Aretha Franklin is nearing the end of her brave battle with cancer and may pass away any day now.

The way some websites have written about it, she may even pass away any moment now.

About 18 months after Franklin announced her retirement from the recording industry, telling a Detroit TV station that she felt “exuberant” about this decision, sources tell TMZ that the singer’s health is failing.

An insider – who describes him/herself as a longtime and dear friend of the artist’s – has told TMZ that he/she was given a warning several days ago:

Prepare yourself, this personwas told, she’s dying.

The source adds Franklin was down to 86 pounds at the time this very unfortunate news was share — and that everyone in Aretha’s circle was told, about two weeks ago, that “she could go any time.”

Franklin is 76 years old.

It’s unknown at this time just which type of cancer she has reportedly been diagnosed with. 

Over the last few years, Franklin has performanced on a limited basis, most recently taking to the stage last November at an Elton John AIDS Foundation event.

She is pictured in both snapshots above at this event.

The tragic news that the singer’s health is failing came from Roger Friedman over at Showbiz411; while WDIV TV in Detroit says Aretha’s family has confirmed she is gravely ill.

This, unfortunately, seems to be a confirmed report.

Franklin is known as The Queen of Soul.

One could make a convincing argument that she’s the most successful and/or influential female vocalist of all-time.

Yes, there’s Mariah Carey. Yes, there is now Beyonce.

But go ahead and ask either of those women who they admired as an aspiring singer, and then consider the following list of Franklin’s accomplishments:

– She was responsible for more than 20 number-one singles in the United States.

– She was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

– She won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance for eight consecutive years from 1968 to 1975.

– She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2005.

“I feel very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now,” Franklinonce said, in what sounds like a monumental understatement.

Roland Martin, a reporter who frequently covers Franklin, took to Twitter to share more about her condition on Monday morning.

“Many of you are asking me to confirm the health status of @ArethaFranklin,” he said, adding:

“Folks, I’ve known for several months. The Queen is surrounded by loved ones. That’s all I will say for now. Please keep her, the family and her longtime support staff in your prayers.”

roland tweet

Upon reading about Franklin’s potential, near-future fate, many top artists jumped on Twitter today and expressed their surprise and sorrow.

“My prayers are with Aretha Franklin & her family during this difficult time,” Tweeted Missy Elliott. “MUST CELEBRATE the Living Legends while they are here to see it. So many have given us decades of Timeless music.”

And Paula Abdul wrote:

“My love, prayers and warm thoughts are with Aretha Franklin—the Queen of Soul. I’m praying for her and her health. Thank you to all her family and friends who are standing by her and loving her through her illness.

“I’m holding you all in my heart.”

And then Carey summed up everyone’s take at the moment with the short and simple:

Praying for the Queen of Soul.


Ami Brown’s Cancer in Remission: Report

We’ve all seen the Alaskan Bush People Season 8 trailer tease Ami’s second chance, but we know that her battle with lung cancer is ongoing.

In fact, back in May, Ami Brown returned to the hospital. Sometimes, cancer comes back.

The good news, folks, is that it is once again in remission.

An insider reveals to RadarOnline that Ami Brown is in remission again.

“Ami is doing amazing,” the source describes.

Considering that Ami beat the odds and became one of the 3% beat back lung cancer not once but twice, we’d say that “amazing” barely begins to cover it.

Ami is doing well, the insider says, “and she’s ready to show everyone that miracles do happen.”

Last year, it was reported that Ami’s cancer was cured in a Christmas miracle. That’s not quite right, because it was early November and not really a cure, but it’s good to think positively.

Ami is back with her family at their homestead in Washington, a 435 ace property that Billy Brown purchased — to the outrage of some of the locals.

“Her doctors are all dumbfounded,” the source says. “At how she was able to almost beat this.”

Probably a combination of genetic factors, the fact that her family now has the resources to give her first-rate medical care in L.A. …. and, of course, her determination.

This is particularly impressive, the insider reports, “when she was in such a bad state last year.”

There was a time about a year ago when most fans did not expect Ami to survive to Season 8.

“But she did,” the source says of those doubts.

In fact, Ami and her cancer battle are expected to be a focus this season.

That and the family adjusting to their new home. And we imagine that Bear Brown’s injury and subsequent hospitalization will also get some airtime.

But Ami is doing better, the insider reports, “and she is looking forward now to getting on with the rest of her life.”

That is so wonderful!

Though, of course, she will continue to have to get regular check-ups several times a year to screen for the cancer’s return.

“This whole experience has been a total wake up call for Ami,” the source reveals.

Never take life or health for granted, folks. Also, maybe don’t smoke or hang around a chronic smoker.

The insider says that this has been illuminating for Ami “and for everyone in the Brown family.”

Of course. This is frightening but it can also be a learning experience.

The source reports that: “It has also made her and Billy closer.”

You’d think that a couple who’s been married for decades and raised approximately 1,000 children (okay, maybe “only” 7) couldn’t possibly be closer than they are.

But people can be surprised by what draws them to connect or reconnect with their loved ones.

It is, of course, wonderful to hear that Ami is once again in remission.

But she’s not out of the woods yet — and we don’t just say that because she literally lives in the wilderness. She is not free and clear just yet.

As we cautioned last time, cancer can return to rear its ugly head at any moment. She will need to remain vigilant.


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Elvis Costello Cancels Tour, Reveals Aggressive Cancer Battle

With a heavy heart, Elvis Costello has had to cancel the remaining shows of his European tour 

The reason for this, he reveals, is his battle with a very aggressive cancer.

In a very lengthy statement, Costello apologizes to the fans who will not get to see him.

Elvis Costello, whose birth name is Declan Patrick MacManus, released a lengthy and heartfelt statement on Facebook.

“Six weeks ago,” Costello begins. “My specialist called me and said, ‘You should start playing the Lotto’.”

That’s rare advice from anyone, particularly from a doctor.

Costello explains: “He had rarely, if ever, seen such a small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy that could be defeated by a single surgery.”

It’s good to know that, despite that scary situation, it was treatable.

“I was elated,” Costello writes. “And relieved that our European summer tour could go ahead.”

“Post-surgical guidelines for such surgery,” Costello then explains. “Recommend three weeks to four weeks recovery.”

That makes sense! Surgery is a big deal.

Costello explains that the recovery time varies “depending on whether you are returning to a desk job or an occupation that involves physical work or travel.”

Of course. Sitting at a desk for work is still work, but not likely to strain your healing body in the same way that traveling to stand up on stage for hours will.

“It was impossible to judge how this advisory would line up with the demands on a traveling musician,” Costello admits.

He says that he was “playing 90-minute to 2-hour plus performances on a nightly basis but by the time we reached the Edinburgh Playhouse”

Costello says that it was going well, so “I was almost fooled into thinking that normal service had been resumed.”

“I have to thank our friends attending last night’s show in Amsterdam,” Costello writes. “And those in Antwerp, Glynde and at Newcastle City Hall for bearing me up.”


“The spirit has been more than willing,” Costello laments. “But I have to now accept that it is going to take longer than I would have wished for me to recover my full strength.”

That is so often the case, unfortunately.

“Therefore, I must reluctantly cancel all the remaining engagements of this tour,” Costello says with disappointment.

“My apologies go to our ticket holders in Manchester, Pula, Graz, Vienna, Tysnes and Rattvik,” he says with sorrow.

“But I would rather disappoint our friends there by not appearing,” Costello says. “Than in pressing on with a show that is compromised and eventually puts my health at risk.”

That is very wise.

Costello continues: “My deep thanks go to Pete Thomas, Steve Nieve, and Davey Faragher of The Imposters for all their deep friendship, love and support during this upsetting time.”

It’s good that everybody is onboard with him putting his health first and not overextending himself.

“Thanks also to Kitten Kuroi and Briana Lee whose beautiful voices have spurred me on to do the singing that I’ve managed, whatever the cost,” Costello says.

“It goes without saying,” he continues. “That there are many others who have worked to get us to the stage and from town to town to whom I am also deeply grateful.”


“To leave you with some more optimistic news,” Costello writes to his fans. “The Imposters and I – together with several of our other friends – have made a magnificent new record of which we are truly proud.”

Well that is exciting!

“It will be issued in October, I believe,” Costello shares. “We will return at the soonest opportunity to play that music and your favourite songs that still make sense to us all.”

He also has some advice.

Costello suggests that people look after their health, saying: “Take very good care of your loved ones but Gentleman, do talk to you friends – you’ll find you are not alone.”

“Seek your doctor’s advice if you are in doubt,” Costello advises. “Or when it is timely and act as swiftly as you may in these matters.”

Cancer is serious business.

“It may save your life,” Costello reminds fans. “Believe me, it is better than playing roulette.”

He’s absolutely right.

He signs off, writing: “Yours through music. Elvis Costello”

We wish him a full and speedy recovery.