Aretha Franklin: A Queen Returns To Her Throne

The “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin, may be getting her birthday wish a bit early this year. Per reports, Memphis has gathered together to honor the iconic singer, in a special way. As fans of the “Respect” singer may already know, Franklin – who just so happens to be celebrating her 75th birthday today, March 25th – has recently been through the ringer, while battling health concerns.

Last summer, Franklin announced that she needed a bit of a break and cancelled three shows due to “doctors’ orders.”
“Due to doctors’ orders I will have to cancel a few concerts for the next month or so,” Franklin, 74, said in a statement at the time. “I’m especially disappointed because two of them are among my favorite cities, Washington D.C. and New York. I don’t want to miss any. I should continue the rest of my tour by November.”

“I decided it was time to go home and take care of myself consistent with doctors’ orders,” she added.

Of course, this wasn’t the first-time the legendary soul singer has revealed her battle with a series of mysterious health issues. In a 2011 exclusive sit-down interview with Wendy Williams, the 75-year-old opened up about an incident that landed her in a Detroit-area hospital. “I heard it started with a pain in your side,” Williams, said, to which Franklin responded, “Yes, that was my first inkling that something was wrong, that something wasn’t what it should be.”


“The pain was so hard it nearly brought me to my knees,” the Queen of Soul continues. “So I said, ‘The concerts are over. I have to go find out what is wrong.'”

Though rumors surfaced claiming the singer was suffering from pancreatic cancer, she squashed them that same year. Only, it appears her illness has remained a mystery. Still, fast forward 6-years and the Queen of Soul is still standing strong.

In fact, it’s that very strength, spirit and undeniable star power, which has her hometown up in arms to save the home she was birthed in – call it a birthday wish come true (we assume).

“If we can get one house right, no matter where it is, that’s a victory,” Alan Crone, special counsel to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, told Shelby County Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter during a hearing on Thursday, March 23 – which was held to help figure out the future of the dilapidated house where Franklin was born, Billboard reports. “But this is a historic property, and its part of our heritage as Memphians that all kinds of music was literally born here.”