Detroit Residents Hold Vigil For Aretha Franklin

Soul legend reportedly undergoing surgery on Thursday

December 2, 2010 10:55 AM ET

On Wednesday, residents and community leaders in Detroit held a prayer vigil for ailing singer Aretha Franklin. City councilwoman JoAnn Watson led the gathering in Detroit's downtown honoring the 68-year-old Franklin, who is reportedly having a surgical procedure today.

WDIV Detroit reported that Watson spoke to the singer before the vigil. "We asked her, 'Where would you like us to have it? Inside? Outside?' She said, 'Where the Detroit statue is — [that's] a beautiful place to have it,' " Watson told WDIV. "So we are standing, and praying, on her behalf, and it's a blessing to do that."

Aretha Franklin: Rolling Stone's No. 1 Singer Of All Time

In November, Franklin's doctors ordered her to cancel all of her tour dates and personal appearances for the next six months.

On Wednesday, the National Recording Academy of Arts & Sciences announced that Franklin had been nominated for a Grammy Award for her duet with Ron Isley, "You've Got A Friend," in the Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals category. Franklin was honored with the Grammys' Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994.

Community Holds Vigil For Aretha Franklin [ClickOnDetroit.com]

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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