Franklin had weight issues for many years. In 1974, she lost 40 pounds (18 kg) on a crash dietand maintained her new weight until the end of the decade.She again lost weight in the early 1990s, before gaining some back. A former chain smoker who struggled with alcoholism, she quit smoking in 1992. She admitted in 1994 that her smoking was “messing with my voice”,but after quitting smoking she said later, in 2003, that her weight “ballooned”.
In 2010, Franklin canceled a number of concerts to have surgery for an undisclosed tumor. Discussing the surgery in 2011, she quoted her doctor as saying that it would “add 15 to 20 years” to her life. She denied that the ailment had anything to do with pancreatic cancer, as had been reported.On May 19, 2011, Franklin had her comeback show at the Chicago TheatreIn May 2013, she canceled two performances because of an undisclosed medical treatment.Later the same month, she canceled two June concerts and planned to “resume her touring schedule in July”.A show scheduled for July 27 in Clarkston, Michigan, was canceled due to continued medical treatment.She canceled an appearance at a Major League Baseball luncheon in Chicago honoring her commitment to civil rights on August 24 and also a performance on September 21 in Atlanta, Georgia.During a phone interview with the Associated Press in late August 2013, Franklin stated that she had had a “miraculous” recovery from her undisclosed illness but had to cancel shows and appearances until her health was at 100%, estimating she was about “85% healed”. Franklin later returned to live performing, including a 2013 Christmas concert at Detroit’s MotorCity Casino Hotel. She launched a multi-city tour in mid-2014, starting with a performance on June 14 in New York at Radio City Music Hall.
In February 2017, Franklin announced that 2017 would be her final year touring.However, she scheduled some 2018 concert dates, before canceling them based on her physician’s advice.
Death and funeral Edit
On August 13, 2018, Franklin was reported to be gravely ill at her home in Riverfront Towers, Detroit. She was under hospice care and surrounded by friends and family. Stevie Wonder, Jesse Jackson and ex-husband Glynn Turman visited her on her deathbed.Franklin died at her home on August 16, 2018, aged 76, without a will.The cause of death was a malignant pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (pNET), which is distinct from the most-common form of pancreatic cancer. Numerous celebrities in the entertainment industry and politicians paid tribute to Franklin, including former U.S. president Barack Obama who said she “helped define the American experience”. Civil rights activist and minister Al Sharpton called her a “civil rights and humanitarian icon”.
A memorial service was held at New Bethel Baptist Church on August 19. Thousands then paid their respects during the public lying-in-repose at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History