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People in the news

Queen of Soul’s recovery going ‘very well’

Aretha Franklin won’t say what caused her latest health problems but says she’s had a “miraculous” recovery and is looking forward to performing soon.

“My treatments are going very well. My last CAT scan, my doctor at the CAT scan and everyone who sees this says that this is miraculous, absolutely miraculous,” Franklin said in a phone interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday.

“I was talking to Smokey Robinson, my oldest best friend Smokey, talking about the fact that some doctors are not very well acquainted with faith healing. And Smokey said, `Well, they just don’t know who your healer is.’ ”

The 71-year-old Queen of Soul has canceled several concerts and public appearances over the last few months due to unspecified health concerns. On Monday, she said she was unable to personally accept an award honoring her work with civil rights from Major League Baseball on Saturday in Chicago.

When asked directly what her health concern was, Franklin declined to go into specifics: “I’m not one to go into my personal health things.”

But she said it was common to women and “I just had to deal with it.” She said it was partly related to the health concern she had about three years ago that led her to cancel shows at that time.

Franklin acknowledged that she had worries about her health.

“Anytime you have cancellations you should be concerned. But all prayer is good, and keep me in your prayers until I am 100 percent, not 85, and back onstage,” she said.

Franklin said she’s been spending her time resting, eating right and taking better care of herself, which has led to a decline in her blood pressure.

She said she’s looking forward to performing at Radio City Music Hall in February but isn’t rushing back to the stage.

“The most important thing is my comfort and going at my pace. Nothing is more important than my health,” she said.

Franklin is also planning another album.

“I can’t wait for that,” she said. “They’re working on the tracks now.”

But she seemed most disappointed that she won’t be able to go to next week’s U.S. Open tennis championships in New York City, where she planned to make a bit of a fashion statement.

“I had really got this hot, hot, hot three-piece Escada short set to wear ... with some fine platforms but doggone it, I’m just not up to traveling quite as far as New York,” she said. “It will have to wait. ... (though) I could very well still get there this year.”

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