Family members have flocked to Aretha Franklin’s side, her rep tells PEOPLE.
The 76-year-old Queen of Soul has been in ailing health, but has had the support of her family during the difficult time.
“Aretha Franklin has been the Matriarch of the Franklin family since the passing of all of her siblings,” her longtime publicist Gwendolyn Quinn says. “The love she has for her family is above reproach and was evident in the warm smiles she was able to share with her nephew during his very brief visit two weeks ago.”
“She is seriously ill and surrounded by family members who appreciate the outpouring of love and support they have received,” Quinn continues.
PEOPLE reported on Monday that Franklin was in the midst of a health crisis, with a friend of the artist explaining that the singer has “been ill for a long time” and her loved ones have been warned her “death is imminent.”
Later in the day, Franklin’s nephew Tim told PEOPLE that his aunt was surrounded by her loved ones and resting at home. “She’s alert, laughing, teasing, able to recognize people,” Tim said. “Family is there with her. She’s home.”
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Reports surfaced late on Sunday that Franklin was gravely ill, with Roger Friedman — a reporter with Showbiz 411 — breaking the news. Detroit news anchor Evrod Cassimy was also in touch with Franklin’s family.
“I am so saddened to report that the Queen of Soul and my good friend, Aretha Franklin is gravely ill,” Cassimy wrote on Twitter. “I spoke with her family members this morning. She is asking for your prayers at this time. I’ll have more details as I’m allowed to release.”
CNN also reported late Monday that the legendary singer is receiving palliative care at home.
Tim told PEOPLE that while the singer “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 said.