Aretha Franklin. Picture: AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Aretha Franklin's nephew says the ailing soul legend is "alert and laughing" at home with her family.

The 76-year-old soul legend has been reported to be "gravely ill", with her loved ones gathered to say their goodbyes, but her nephew Tim Franklin revealed she is in good spirits though he's worried about her seeing reports her death is said to be imminent.

Tim told People magazine: "She's alert, laughing, teasing, able to recognise people.

"Family is there with her. She's home.

"I saw her a week ago Friday and we talked for about 45 minutes to an hour. My brother was there on Saturday and she was alert, talking, laughing, joking.

"She's watching TV, so god forbid she sees all of this 'Aretha's dead,' so I don't want to dampen her spirits on that."

But though friends have disclosed the 'Respect' singer has "been ill for a long time", her family remain hopeful she will pull through.

Tim added: "She is sick [but her family are] trying to keep her spirits up and go from there.

"We believe she'll pull through it, she believes she'll pull through it, and that's the important thing."

Meanwhile, following the reports of Aretha's condition, Beyonce and Jay-Z dedicated their 'On The Run II Tour' performance at Ford Field in Detroit - where the singer lives - to the 'Say A Little Prayer' hitmaker.

Beyonce told the crowd: "This show is dedicated to Aretha Franklin. We love you and thank you."

Aretha's final public performance was at the Mann Center in Philadelphia in August 2017, where she reportedly battled through "exhaustion and dehydration" to "miraculously" complete the show.

The 'Natural Woman' singer cancelled a number of concerts last year and admitted in February 2017 that her touring days were coming to an end.

She said at the time: "I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it."

Aretha - whose three siblings all died of cancer - has battled ill health over the last few years and in 2011, denied she was suffering from pancreatic cancer, though she later admitted she'd had a tumour removed.

Last November, she was the subject of a death hoax online but insisted she was "doing well" when she spoke up to deny the reports.

She said: "I'm doing well generally, all test have come back good."