Returning from the sidelines after an undisclosed but clearly serious medical issue, Aretha Franklin met the media yesterday in suburban Detroit. According to The Detroit News, she admitted, “The side effects were rough.” But the words cancer or chemotherapy were never spoken. She credited prayer and the support of friends and family for getting her past the crisis.
Now in an uptempo mood, Franklin says “I need a party, after what I’ve been through. I spent most of the summer in bed. But everything is good now, good to go.”
The Queen of Soul previewed songs from a planned album she’ll begin work on next week with producers Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Don Was. She sang the Etta James classic “At Last,” accompanying herself on piano. The album is also likely to include renditions of Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know,” and the jazz standard “Teach Me Tonight” as recorded by Dinah Washington.
The disc will be released by Sony Music, whose CEO Clive Davis told Frankin he “wanted a blockbuster.”