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Tuesday
Nov212017

Fake news?: Friend of Aretha Franklin says rumors that famed singer is very ill aren't true

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesRumors have been circulating on the internet claiming that Aretha Franklin is seriously ill, but a Detroit entertainment reporter says she spoke with a close friend of the Queen of Soul who insists that the reports are untrue.

Reporter Shaun Robinson posted a Twitter message early Tuesday that reads, "Good Morning, Everyone. I just spoke to one of Ms. Franklin's family friends in my hometown of Detroit. They spoke to Aretha moments ago and asked me to tell you please don't believe this news that was trending. Have a good day."

Franklin performed in early November at a New York City charity event for Elton John's AIDS Foundation, and photos of the singer showed her looking uncharacteristically thin. In addition, a Twitter page falsely claiming to be Aretha's official Twitter feed posted a fake message on Monday announcing her passing.

Franklin, who has experienced some health issues in recent years, has been the subject of other fake rumors. As Page Six points out, reports emerged alleging that Aretha was battling pancreatic cancer.

"I don't know where 'pancreatic cancer' came from," Franklin told Robinson at the time. "I was sitting there reading the newspaper and it was saying someone in my family said that. No one in my family ever said that to anybody."

Aretha has been working on a new album with music mogul Clive Davis and Stevie Wonder, and announced earlier this year she planned to retire from touring at the end of 2017.

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