Vigil held at Detroit church for ‘seriously ill’ Aretha Franklin

People are praying for Aretha Franklin in the Detroit church where her father was once a pastor.

The special vigil for the singer, who is seriously ill, began at New Bethel Baptist Church began before dawn.

The prayers come one day after Stevie Wonder visited the ailing Queen of Soul at her home.

Fans in Lafayette Park across from the White House send encouragement to the family of Aretha Franklin Credit: AP

Franklin’s ex-husband, actor Glynn Turman, also visited the star.

A person close to Franklin has confirmed that the singer is ill, though no further details have been released.

Franklin cancelled planned concerts earlier this year after she was ordered by her doctor to stay off the road and rest up.

The 76-year-old announced plans to retire last year, saying she would perform at “some select things”.

Beyonce and Jay-Z thanked Aretha Franklin for her music while on stage Credit: AP

Fans, friends and musicians influenced by Franklin offered positive words to the iconic singer when news broke that she was ill, including Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey, Chaka Khan, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tyler Perry, Missy Elliott and Wayne Brady.

At her concert in Detroit on Monday night with Jay-Z, Beyonce thanked Franklin for her “beautiful music” and said “we love you”.

Former US President Bill Clinton tweeted that he and Hillary Clinton “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,” Mr Clinton wrote.

In an interview with the AP on Monday, Emmy-winning actor Sterling K Brown said: “May I wish the Queen of Soul all the best.”

“Your music has moved and inspired a generation,” he added, “so my prayers are with you. Wishing you all the best, queen.”