Reports of Aretha Franklin‘s demise are a little premature.
The rampant rumor that she might have pancreatic cancer is just a rumor. It hasn’t been confirmed.
I spoke to someone with Aretha at the hospital today. She’s resting comfortably, and “improving” since her surgery.
When I spoke to Franklin the day before Thanksgiving she was upbeat and positive.
Aretha is a fighter. She’s survived the deaths of her two beloved sisters, her brother, friends like Wilson Pickett, Levi Stubbs, Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin of the Temptations.
Never ever count her out.
I had lunch with Miss Franklin this summer in East Hampton. She and her sister-in-law made us Aretha’s Special Chile, and we dined on corn bread they’d found at one of the fancy markets in town. We spent the afternoon listening to tracks she’d recently recorded for a new album. They were wonderful. When I spoke to her before Thanksgiving, Aretha was enthusiastic about her prognosis and surgery, and looked forward to working this winter.
Again, don’t rumors become fact. Let’s have a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T for America’s great treasure of a performer.