Aretha Franklin Healthy & Ready to Work on New Album

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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After suffering from an undisclosed illness, Aretha Franklin says she is feeling “85 percent better” and ready to work on new music.

Franklin has kept mum about her recent health problems, which have caused her to cancel numerous shows and appearances, including a luncheon this Saturday (Aug. 24) in Chicago where she was slated to receive an award from Major League Baseball for her civil rights work. However, in an interview with the Associated Press that ran yesterday (Aug. 20), Franklin noted that her condition is improving.

“My treatments are going very well,” she said. “My last CAT scan, my doctor at the CAT scan and everyone who sees this says that this is miraculous, absolutely miraculous.”

She also gave some insight into her unknown illness, explaining that it is very common among women and partly related to a previous, also undisclosed, health issue from three years ago.

The Queen of Soul chalks up her improved health to eating right and taking better care of herself, which has led to a decline in her blood pressure. She also says her faith has helped her.

“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,” she explained. “And Smokey said, ‘Well, they just don’t know who your healer is.’”

Feeling better than she has in years, Franklin says she is looking forward to playing Radio City Music Hall in February and recording a new album, her first since 2011′s A Woman Falling Out of Love. Back in February, iconic Sony head Clive Davis touted that Aretha would be starting on the album in the coming month or so, working alongside the likes of Babyface and Danger Mouse for an album of “great diva songs.”

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

Franklin did not give an exact timeframe for her new album. She says she is instead focusing on getting 100 percent better.

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

- Shannon Carlin, Radio.com

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