Aretha Franklin Admits That ‘Side Effects Were Rough’ for Treatment of Mystery Illness

Laura Ferreiro
Stop The Presses!

By Laura Ferreiro

Aretha Franklin is back in the saddle again, getting ready to release some new music and begin work in the studio with famed Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan producer Don Was. But her road back to performing hasn't been an easy one. The "Respect" singer has been suffering from an undisclosed illness that reportedly left her bed-ridden for some time.

Speaking to media at a recent event in her hometown of Detroit, the 71-year-old songstress – who now appears to be in good spirits and has plenty of energy – admitted that "the side effects were rough" for her treatment for the condition, reports Billboard.

The Queen of Soul, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contributions to music, ended up canceling several shows this summer because of her ailing health, and told USA Today that the treatments left her bed-bound for most of the summer.

Now that she's feeling better, Franklin plans to take it relatively easy and not overdo it, limiting her live performances to just one or two dates a month. But she insists she's doing great. "Everything is fine now," she said. "I'm good to go."

She's now participating in pre-production meetings and preparing to begin work with Was and longtime friend Kenny (Babyface) Edmonds on an as-yet untitled new album – an alliance that she believes will yield some great results.

Franklin also confessed that she's ready to party, and she plans to do just that at an upcoming gala in New York for fashion designer Marc Jacobs. "I need a party after what I've been through," she said. "A party."