Report: Aretha Franklin Battling Pancreatic Cancer


Aretha Franklin is battling pancreatic cancer, according to a family friend.

ABC affiliate WXYZ Action News in Detroit, Mich. reported today that a family friend of Franklin's is suffering from the disease. A family friend also told WJBK FOX 2 News in Detroit that Franklin is doing "okay," though her family and friends are "very concerned" and have asked fans of the Queen of Soul to send prayers and well wishes.

A week after Franklin underwent surgery for a mysterious illness, a tabloid report said the 68-year-old singer was battling incurable pancreatic cancer.

Last Thursday, Franklin released a statement to The Associated Press, saying: "God is still in control. I had superb doctors and nurses whom were blessed by all the prayers of the city and the country."

But neither she nor her publicist said what's was ailing her. Franklin's publicist also declined to comment to today.

Rev. Jesse Jackson, who has visited recently with Franklin, told the AP that the legendary singer is "recovering very well" from "serious surgery."

While declining to say why his friend of 40 years underwent surgery, he said Franklin takes daily walks in the hall of her hospital and her spirits "are high and her faith is strong."

Last month, Franklin, whose hits include "Respect" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," announced that she was canceling all concert dates and personal appearances through May, under her doctors' orders.

It's been a rough few months for the singer. In September, her adult son, Eddie, was beaten by three men at a Detroit gas station. And a month earlier, she broke ribs in a fall and had to miss two free concerts in New York.

One of the country's most honored singers, Franklin has won numerous Grammys, the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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