Aretha Franklin is resting at home, surrounded by friends and family, who are trying to stay hopeful about the singing legend’s failing health, her nephew told PEOPLE.
“She’s alert, laughing, teasing, able to recognize people,” Tim Franklin told PEOPLE on Tuesday. “Family is there with her. She’s home.”
News broke on Monday that Franklin was in “gravely ill” condition, with PEOPLE reporting that the soul singer’s death was “imminent.”
“I saw her a week ago Friday and we talked for about 45 minutes to an hour. My brother was there on Saturday and she was alert, talking, laughing, joking,” he said. “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.”
Well wishes poured in for “The Queen of Soul” from notable figures such as Mariah Carey and former President Bill Clinton.
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) August 13, 2018
Like people all around the world, Hillary and I 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.
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) August 14, 2018
My prayers are with Aretha Franklin & her family during this difficult time 🙏🏾 LOOK BELOW @ what I tweeted at the top of the year we MUST CELEBRATE the Living Legends while they are here to see it. So many have given us decades of Timeless music…❤️ https://t.co/VVacLxcMSI
— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) August 13, 2018
Franklin’s nephew confirmed with PEOPLE that she is sick, but said that 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.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.