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• Fans and friends, including Mariah Carey and Missy Elliott, offered prayers and well wishes to Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, who is seriously ill. A person close to Franklin, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to publicly, said Monday that the singer is seriously ill. No more details were provided. Carey, who considers Franklin one of her biggest influences, wrote on Twitter that she is "praying for the Queen of Soul." Missy Elliott said that the public has to celebrate iconic artists before they die. "So many [of them] have given us decades of Timeless music," the rapper wrote on Twitter. Mark Frost, Andy Cohen and Ciara also posted about Franklin, who is considered one of the greatest singers of all time and is known for hits like "Respect" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman." 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. She was originally scheduled to perform on her 76th birthday in March in Newark, N.J., and at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in April. Last year, the icon announced her plans to retire, saying she would perform at "some select things." One of those select events was a gala for Elton John's 25th anniversary of his AIDS foundation in November in New York City, where Franklin closed the event with a collection of songs including "I Say a Little Prayer" and "Freeway."

• Actress Ruby Rose is taking a break from Twitter after a backlash over her casting as Batwoman in the CW's Arrowverse shows. Last week, Rose, one of the stars of The Meg, was announced as the DC heroine in the network's upcoming crossover episodes and a spinoff series in development, making Batwoman the first lesbian superhero to headline her own series. Reactions were mixed across social media, though many endorsed her casting, including Arrow star Stephen Amell and Batwoman comics co-creator Greg Rucka. Still, Rose, who is a lesbian and identifies as gender fluid, was trolled by the comic's avid fandom, leading to her abrupt Twitter departure over the weekend. Rose previously described the role as her "childhood dream," but in her final tweets, she derided the hate. She also turned off public commenting on her Instagram account in response to critics of her sexuality. "Where on earth did 'Ruby is not a lesbian therefore she can't be batwoman' come from -- has to be the funniest most ridiculous thing I've ever read," the actress wrote. "I came out at 12? And have for the past 5 years had to deal with 'she's too gay' how do y'all flip it like that? I didn't change. I wish we would all support each other and our journeys."

Photo by Invision
Aretha Franklin
Photo by Invision
Ruby Rose

A Section on 08/14/2018

Print Headline: Names and faces

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