Legendary superstar Aretha Franklin has been fighting a secret battle with pancreatic cancer, according to reports.
The Queen of Soul's health has been under scrutiny since she revealed last week (ends05Dec10) she had undergone "successful" surgery in a hospital in Detroit, Michigan to treat a mystery ailment.
She refused to share details about the cause of her illness, but thanked fans for their support after the operation on Thursday (02Dec10).
In a statement she said, "The surgery was highly successful. God is still in control. I had superb doctors and nurses whom were blessed by all the prayers of the city and the country. God bless you all for your prayers!"
But new reports surfaced on Wednesday (08Dec10) suggesting the I Say A Little Prayer hitmaker, 68, has been diagnosed with cancer.
A family source allegedly shared the sad news with The Detroit News, while another relative is said to have backed up the claims to the city's Fox 2 News.
A spokesperson for Franklin had yet to respond to requests for a comment as WENN went to press.
However, her pal, Reverend Jesse Jackson, has assured fans the singer is "recovering very well" from the undisclosed surgery, insisting she is on her feet as she recuperates in hospital and that her spirits are "high and her faith is strong".
Franklin found herself at the centre of much speculation recently after doctors ordered her to cancel all concert dates and personal appearances scheduled until May (11), including a Christmas concert in her adopted hometown of Detroit on Thursday (09Dec10).