The world is worried about the Queen of Soul. Aretha Franklin has pancreatic cancer, the Detroit News reported Wednesday. The paper quoted a source close to “The Queen of Soul” as confirming the cancer report in the National Enquirer. The 68-year-old “Respect” singer announced last week she had undergone surgery that she called “highly successful,” but she did not reveal her ailment. Franklin’s publicist declined comment. Fans across the globe voiced dismay while paying tribute to the iconic 68-year-old singer.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who has visited Franklin four or five times recently, told the AP Wednesday that she was “recovering very well” from “serious surgery.” He, too, was silent on the nature of the treatment. Jackson said Franklin takes daily walks in her hospital.
Franklin has often said that Christmas is her favorite time of year, and it looks as if she may get to spend the holiday at home: Cousin Brenda Corbett, who has visited Franklin regularly since her hospitalization, said the singer expects to be released from the hospital this weekend.
Last month, Franklin said she was canceling all concert dates and appearances through May on the orders of her doctors.
Friends and fans in Detroit and around the world said Franklin is in their thoughts.
“I’m just requesting prayers from the saints of God,” said gospel singer and evangelist Dorinda Clark Cole, who headlined Franklin’s Thanksgiving Day gospel feast and fest at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, a church once pastored by Franklin’s father, the Rev. C. L. Franklin.