You may or may not have seen it, but a tweet went out early on Tuesday claiming that Aretha Franklin had passed away. Death hoaxes are, sadly, becoming a bit too common these days, but when there was no statement from Franklin or a rep for the legendary singer, fans were left worrying.
Well, people in Franklin’s circle have spoken with members of media since the singer was trending on Twitter (and at the time of this post, she still is) to say that the rumors are false.
Entertainment reporter Shaun Robinso, who has interviewed Franklin in the past, shared on Twitter this morning that she spoke to a family friend who’d been in touch with Franklin today:
And Roland Martin also spoke to someone from her team who said she is doing just fine:
Earlier this year, Franklin did say that she was planning to retire from touring by the end of the year. And according to ABC News, she said that she wanted to open a nightclub in Detroit, her hometown, where she would perform at from time to time. She did cancel a tour stop in Canada back in June for health reasons, but there wasn’t talk of any serious issues, and she returned to the stage afterward. She has been hospitalized in the past, notably in late 2010. She had surgery and lost a lot of weight, but didn’t disclose the reasons. She would later deny reports that it was due to pancreatic cancer.
“I don’t know where ‘pancreatic cancer’ came from,” she told Robinson on Access Hollywood back in 2011. “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.”
Franklin was last pictured performing earlier this month for Elton John’s AIDS Foundation event (picture above) and she looked smaller than ever. But we’re glad to hear that today’s rumors were bogus and all is well with the Queen of Soul.