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Aretha Franklin: 'I Am So Grateful' to Be Alive

'I can do whatever I feel like,' singer says. 'Of course, that doesn’t mean any concerts'

December 16, 2010 4:12 PM ET
Aretha Franklin: 'I Am So Grateful' to Be Alive
Bobby Bank/WireImage

Aretha Franklin is on the mend.

In a phone interview with Jet magazine — her first since her serious health scare — the Grammy-winning singer, 68, says, "I feel great. The doctors say I can do whatever I feel like I am up to do. Of course, that doesn’t mean any concerts or anything like that. But I can do things around the house, and today I am just piddling around the house."

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The "R.E.S.P.E.C.T." chanteuse declined to detail the reason behind her recent surgery and hospitalization; many sources have said Franklin is suffering from pancreatic cancer.

"I am putting Aretha together first," she tells Jet. "This is Aretha time to do whatever it is that I need to do. But I will talk more later.”

"It is good to sit up, too," Franklin added. "I also might make one or two business calls.  Not too much, just a teeny bit."

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"My family and friends who brought me home are taking great care of me," the star said. "I also have a private nurse who visits on a daily basis."

Franklin noted that she has received well-wishes from many famous friends, including Stevie Wonder, Oprah Winfrey, Patti LaBelle and Dionne Warwick.

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"They know that I am a lot more than the girl in the Pink Cadillac on the Freeway of Love who also sings about Respect,” she said of her pals. "They pray without ceasing for me."

"God has given me the greatest gift already for the holidays," Franklin gushed of her improved health. "I am so grateful."

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