Aretha Franklin Drops Out of MLB Luncheon Over Health Issues

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin Drops Out of MLB Luncheon Over Health Issues

The Queen of Soul was scheduled to receive the Beacon of Change award.

Published August 20, 2013

Aretha Franklin will not be on hand to receive a special honor at Major League Baseball's Beacon Awards in Chicago this Saturday (Aug. 24). The Queen of Soul was scheduled to grab the "Beacon of Change" award spotlighting her embodiment of the civil rights movement, but pulled out over health reasons.

Franklin, 71, was on board for the ceremony as recently as last week. While she made mention of medical treatment, the singer gave no further details behind the absence. "I greatly appreciate being a Beacon Award recipient," she said in a statement. "Presently, I am unable to travel as I continue my treatment. I am working toward a full recovery." 

The Detroit native recently nixed a bunch of show dates, and has been hospitalized in the past. 

"It is unfortunate that Aretha Franklin will not be able to attend the Beacon Awards Luncheon but Major League Baseball wishes her the best throughout her treatment," said Hall of Famer and MLB executive vice president of development Frank Robinson.

The Beacon luncheon is among the many events for MLB's annual Civil Rights Game weekend. Franklin and retired baseball star Bo Jackson were named as the 2013 "Beacon of Change" honorees, past recipients include Harry Belafonte and Willie Mays. is your #1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music.

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(Photo: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Written by Latifah Muhammad


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