Fight to save Aretha Franklin’s childhood home continues

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Queen of Soul is fighting to stay alive.

Aretha Franklin's family says the iconic singer is, "Gravely ill."

The dilapidated cottage on Lucy Street barely missed a wrecking ball in 2016, but since then the fight to save and improve Aretha Franklin's childhood home and continued.

Franklin was born on Lucy Street in 1942. From there, she took off to wow the world with a voice that has echoed through decades.

"Aretha Franklin is one of those singers that everyone in the world loves," Tim Sampson, with The Soulsville Foundation, said. "It's that thing that comes from Memphis that is so hard to put into words."

WREG was there when the singer walked through the home for the first time in years.

She was born in the home and lived there until she was 2-years-old.

It's a place now marred by fire and is looked on as an eyesore, but it's worth more than face value.

"It's just a magical thing that Memphis has," Sampson said.

Though she didn't stay here long, people like Sampson want things sorted out with the home.

"She had that special quality in her voice. That is hard to explain, because it doesn't come along very often in a generation or a lifetime. She just had that velvety smooth beautiful voice."

Even as her health fades, there's one thing that is not going away anytime soon.

"Her music is not going anywhere," Sampson said. "She really paved the way for Beyoncé and all the great stars today."

Hopefully the place where she spent her first years will finally get the attention and transformation it deserves.

LeMoyne Owen's community development corporation says it has figured things out when it comes to giving Franklin a fitting tribute. One of the things holding them up is being able to make sure they are capturing her likeness in the right manner.

The next court date on the home is August 28.

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