NEW YORK (Reuters) - Without confirming reports that she has been battling cancer or even saying why she was sick, soul icon Aretha Franklin said in a magazine interview on Thursday that she is now “feeling great” after recent surgery.
The 68-year-old “Respect” singer told Jet magazine she did not want to discuss media reports that she suffered from pancreatic cancer.
“I don’t have to talk about my health with anybody other than my doctors. The problem has been resolved,” she said.
A monumental figure in American popular music, Franklin was discharged from a Detroit hospital in December after the surgery that she said was “successful.”
It was first discovered she was ill in October when she canceled all her public appearances, but neither the singer nor her representatives have confirmed why she was sick.
She told Jet magazine she initially discovered “a very hard pain in my side” during a concert last year in Toronto, Canada. Initial tests showed no problem, but she recalled then saying to herself, “‘I know there is a problem, but these tests are showing nothing.’”
She was “not one to do a lot of talking about my personal health or business,” she said, but she wanted her fans to know she was now “feeling great and coming along.”
Franklin dominated the soul landscape during the 1960s and 1970s with such songs as “Think,” “Respect” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”
Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Bob Tourtellotte