Aretha Franklin: 'I Feel Great'

Soul legend Aretha Franklin says she feels "great" and is "piddling around the house" as she follows doctors orders to rest at home after surgery two weeks ago.

"I feel great," Franklin told JET magazine in her first interview since being discharged from a Detroit area hospital earlier this week. "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," she said.

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Franklin, 68, underwent surgery about two weeks ago that she has called "highly successful." Both the Detroit News and the city's Fox TV station said this month that Franklin was battling pancreatic cancer, the disease that claimed actor Patrick Swayze last year.

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She has not commented on her specific illness, but she did tell JET she would have more to say on her diagnosis shortly.
"I am putting Aretha together first. We will put Ree Ree together first. This is Aretha time to do whatever it is that I need to do. But I will talk more later," Franklin said.

A monumental figure in American popular music, Franklin dominated the soul landscape during the 1960s and 1970s with such songs as "Think," "Respect" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman." The daughter of a preacher and civil rights activist, she revisited her roots with several acclaimed live gospel albums, including her 1972 Grammy winner "Amazing Grace."

Franklin said doctors had told her to rest at home for about eight weeks. She said she had received messages of support from a number of people including Oprah Winfrey, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Condoleeza Rice, and she was thankful for her fellow gospel performers saying a little prayer for her.

"They know I am a praying woman," she said. "They pray without ceasing for me."

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