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Aretha Franklin says she's "doing well," shares reason for recent weight loss

Nicholas Hunt/WireImageAretha Franklin has come forward to address rumors that she's seriously ill.

Rumors that Franklin was ailing began circulating after she appeared much thinner than usual at a charity performance last month in New York City.  But in an exclusive interview with Closer Weekly, the 75-year-old Queen of Soul insists that she's "doing very well."

"I have lost a lot of weight due to the side effects from my medicine," Aretha explains, "but all of my tests are very good!"

Franklin didn't go into detail about the medication she is taking, saying that it's "a matter of private medical info," although Closer Weekly points out that gastrointestinal issues had led her to cancel some concerts in recent years.

Aretha announced earlier this year that she will retiring from touring at the end of 2017, although she does have a couple of confirmed concerts lined up in 2018. She will play a show on March 25 in Newark, New Jersey, and a June 28 performance at the Toronto Jazz Festival.

Franklin also continues to make new music, and she tells Closer Weekly that she's "working on a duet with Elton John" that she says will be a new version of Elton's classic tune "Your Song."

And, with her workload lightening up in the new year, Aretha says, "I will be spending more time with my grandchildren and family."

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