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Despite the Rumors, Aretha Franklin is Still Alive

by Newsdesk

Aretha Franklin's loved ones have urged fans to ignore false reports of the soul legend's death.

Former Access Hollywood host Shaun Robinson took to Twitter on Tuesday (November 21) to pass on a message from the veteran singer's loved ones, after unconfirmed rumors surfaced online suggesting Aretha had passed away, turning the 75-year-old into a trending topic on the micro-blogging site.

"Good Morning, Everyone," Robinson tweeted. "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 previously battled a bout of ill health in 2010, when she secretly underwent surgery to remove a tumour, but her efforts to keep the news private prompted premature death reports in 2011, following claims she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

"I don't know where 'pancreatic cancer' came from," she subsequently told Robinson. "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."

The latest false reports about the Respect hitmaker's condition emerge months after Aretha announced her retirement as a performer.

"I must tell you, I am retiring this year," she said in February. "This will be my last year... I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it."

The star has since revealed plans to return to her childhood home of Detroit, Michigan in her retirement and open a nightclub called Aretha's.