Gladys Knight Clarifies Aretha Franklin Comment, Admits to Having Breast Cancer

Soul legend Gladys Knight said her comment about having the "same disease" as Aretha Franklin during Franklin's funeral Friday was in reference to her personal battle with breast cancer.

While on her way to the Greater Grace Temple, Knight told Detroit's WDIV-TV that during her last conversation with Franklin, they "shared the fact that we had the same disease."

This lead to some media outlets reporting that Knight, 74, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the same disease that caused Franklin's death. However, Knight's publicist, Javier Delgado, later told the Detroit News that the "Midnight Train to Georgia" singer did not have pancreatic cancer.

"Maybe she meant she feels her pain. But she does not have cancer," Delgado said.

Knight later sent a statement to TMZ, in which she admitted to having survived breast cancer.

"I'd like to clarify that Aretha and I discussed both of us having cancer, mine was stage 1 breast cancer and hers was pancreatic. Due to early detection, I am cancer-free and grateful for that," Knight said.

Knight continued, "It is unfortunate that on a day we should be celebrating Aretha's life and massive contribution to our world, a reporter who did not relay accurate information has missed the message. I send my love to the entire Franklin family and my gratitude to them for sharing such an extraordinary person with us."

During Franklin's funeral, Knight took the stage to perform "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water," reports Entertainment Tonight.

Franklin's memorial service was held Friday, two weeks after her death at age 76. The Queen of Soul was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2010, but continued to perform until last year.

In an interview with Us Weekly earlier this week, Knight said she already misses Franklin, but was happy the "Respect" singer no longer had to suffer.

"I miss her, but I didn't want her to suffer," Knight told Us Weekly. "I really didn't. And, you know, people could see it. She just kept driving and driving, and she knew it was a disease that would take her out, and she just kept on doing what she does best. So Aretha, safe journey."


Knight is a legend herself, with seven Grammys and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Some of her best-known hits include "Midnight Train to Georgia," "If I Were Your Woman," "I Heard It Through The Grapevine," "That's What Friends Are For" and "Help Me Make It Through The Knight."

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