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McClatchy Newspapers, Published December 28 2010

Source: Aretha Franklin is alive, Web rumors wrong

DETROIT — Aretha Franklin has not died, contrary to rumors rocketing across the Internet, a source close to the singer has told the Detroit Free Press.

The Detroit singer, who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, is “home, alive and recovering,” said the source, who requested anonymity because of sensitivity about Franklin's health.

Rumors that Franklin had died began simmering online Monday, hitting a frenzy Monday night on Twitter and other social media.

False celebrity death reports pop up frequently on Twitter, with celebrities such as Morgan Freeman and Bill Cosby among the recent targets.

In Franklin's case, the Monday mixup may have been spawned by legitimate reports about the death of singer Teena Marie, who was frequently described as the Ivory Queen of Soul.

Franklin is known as the Queen of Soul.

Franklin has been in and out of Detroit hospitals several times since the late summer, canceling all concert appearances and staying out of the public eye.

She has offered minimal comment since news of the pancreatic cancer emerged in early December.