Aretha Franklin knew something was seriously wrong with her health after suffering a pain so bad, it almost brought her to her knees.
The Queen of Soul sparked fears for her wellbeing when a mystery illness prompted her to scrap a series of end-of-year shows in 2010.
She underwent surgery in December (10) but has continually refused to reveal the exact nature of her condition - only speaking out to deny reports she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Franklin has now opened up about the health troubles that led to her hospitalisation in a candid interview with U.S. talk show host Wendy Williams, revealing she had no choice but to cancel her tour - because she could barely stand up.
In the taped chat, which is due to air in America on Wednesday (02Mar11), she said, "The pain was so hard it nearly brought me to my knees. So I said, 'The concerts are over. I have to go and find out what is wrong.'
"It was my first inkling that something was wrong, that something wasn't what it should be."
But the 68-year-old hitmaker is still dodging questions about the cause of her pain.
Williams attempted to press her for details by saying, "In December we all found out that you were having abdominal surgery...", to which Franklin replied, "Hmm… Is that what you heard?"