Report: Aretha Franklin Diagnosed with Cancer

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Aretha Franklin attends the 2010 Apollo Theater Spring Benefit Concert & Awards Ceremony at the Apollo Theater in New York, June 14, 2010. REUTERS/Natalie Behring

As reports circulate about her health, the Queen of Soul is receiving an outpouring of support.

Franklin underwent surgery last Thursday, Dec. 2, but did not disclose the nature of her illness. Afterward, she released this statement: “The surgery was highly successful. God is still in control. I had superb doctors and nurses whom were blessed by all the prayers of the city and the country. God bless you all for your prayers!” Following the advice of her doctor, she also canceled all performances until May.

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Late last night, Franklin’s local news channel—Detroit’s WJBK Fox 2—confirmed through an unnamed relative that Franklin does, in fact, have cancer. That follows reports from and the National Enquirer that the “Respect” singer is suffering from pancreatic cancer.

Yesterday relatives and friends continued to focus on the soul legend’s recovery, and would not discuss the specifics of her condition. Speaking to the Detroit Free Press, Franklin’s cousin, Brenda Corbett, said Franklin “is doing better than doctors expected. She has a long life in front of her and will be back in concert, on stage, late spring or early summer.”

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Referring to the National Enquirer report that claimed Franklin has just months to live, Corbett called for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. “This girl is doing great and they need to stop it,” she said.