The Queen of Soul is alive and well. Aretha Franklin responded to rumors of her death on Tuesday, November 21, assuring fans she’s still thriving in an exclusive statement to Us Weekly.
After the hashtag #RipArethaFranklin began trending on Twitter Tuesday morning, the legendary singer, 75, exclusively told Us, “I’m doing well generally, all test have come back good.”
“I’ve lost a lot of weight due to side effects of medicine, it affects your weight … Thanxxxx for your concern,” she added in an emailed statement to Us.
The false report – which was initially started by a fake Aretha Franklin Twitter account – gained more than 15,000 mentions. The post read: “It Is With Sad News That We Announce the Passing Of The ‘Queen Of Soul’ Aretha Franklin 1942-2017.” Fans immediately reacted, assuming the tweet was true.
Access Hollywood host Shaun Robinson – who also serves as a representative for Franklin – updated fans in a tweet shortly after. “Good Morning, Everyone. I just spoke to one of Ms. Franklin’s family friends in my hometown 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,” she wrote.
This isn’t the first time the music mogul has had to clear up rumored health issues. After undergoing a procedure in 2011 due to severe pain in her side, she addressed talk of cancer. “I don’t know where ‘pancreatic cancer’ came from,” she told Access Hollywood 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.”
Earlier this year, the 18-time Grammy winner announced that she was officially retiring. “I must tell you, I am retiring this year,” she said in an interview with Detroit TV station WDIV Local 4 in February. “I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now. I’ll be pretty much satisfied, but I’m not going to go anywhere and just sit down and do nothing. That wouldn’t be good either.”
Franklin was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, her iconic career began in January 1961.