The Cast of ‘This Is Us’ Describe Aretha Franklin as ‘Sheer Talent and Sheer Joy’

The stars of NBC’s “This Is Us” offered prayers and well wishes to Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, who is seriously ill.

“I am like beside myself about that,” said actress Chrissy Metz of Franklin’s ailing health.

“She is just, I mean, sheer talent and sheer joy. And like people, some people are like innately just talented and moving and literally change our lives and she is one of those women. And yeah, so we’re definitely sending prayers and loving and healing light. And, you know, it’s sad. It’s terribly sad.”

A person close to Franklin, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to publicly talk about the topic, told The Associated Press on Aug. 13th that the singer is seriously ill. No more details were provided.

“She’s American music,” explained co-star Susan Kelechi Watson at a special screening for the family drama. “She really is a foundational part of the 20th century, 21st-century music. Like she’s a cornerstone. So yeah, you know, of course we’re praying for her and her family at this time. But for her to know the impact that she’s had on American culture, it’s tremendous. I mean, it’s far beyond the scope of even what I’m thinking right now, you know what I mean? Because for generations she’s influenced. You can literally say if there was no Aretha Franklin, there would not be a certain movement of music. So it’s a big deal.”

Contributions to Many Genres

Watson recalled Franklin’s contributions to many genres, including bringing gospel music to mainstream audiences.

“Absolutely and took a lot of heat for that, you know? Now we look back on that and go, ‘That’s so cool.’ But back then, that was a difficult thing to do, especially if you grew up in a church family and all those things. So for her to be sort of this rebel and be sort of avant-garde and to be a maverick, you know, in that way is something that we don’t think about now. But that’s what I mean, there’s so many levels to it and she’s truly, truly beloved, you know? And I hope she’s feeling that right now.”

Franklin, who had battled undisclosed health issues in recent years, canceled planned concerts earlier this year after she was ordered by her doctor to stay off the road and rest up.

“May I wish the Queen of Soul all the best. Your music has moved and inspired a generation, you know? So my prayers are with you. Wishing you all the best, queen,” said Sterling K. Brown.

Last year, the 76-year-old icon announced her plans to retire, saying she would perform at “some select things.”

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.