Home Music Aretha Franklin: Have A Little RESPECT–She’s OK

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.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
5 replies to this post
  1. When one looks at the Mayo Clinic web site on this specific type of cancer, all kinds of information is presented. Sadly, when you read of traits, etc. you will realize Ms. Franklin has most. If she does have this form of disease, then it does not look good for her.

  2. Two celebs have survived pancreatic cancer: Steve Jobs and Ruth Bader…I don’t know what treatment they had, but Steve Jobs was out for about two years before he emerged. Let’s hope they found her cancer in time and the treatment works. The world would be a little sadder without an Aretha song.

  3. We respect Aretha and we love her. Unfortunately, your reporting is off. She’s sick with pancreatic cancer. Despite the media reports, that does not mean she will die. Although pancreatic cancer is tough to battle, some have survived it. I strongly believe she is getting great care, but I would encourage her to go to New York (Cornell Weill) or Houston (MD Anderson) for treatment. She needs the best care to ensure the best outcome. When you’re sick, it’s hard to direct this, but I hope that those who are entrusted with her care will make sure she gets the best care.

    I pray and expect that she will recover. God bless her and her family.

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