Gladys Knight might have created a bit of a misunderstanding about her own health status on her way into Aretha Franklin’s funeral on Friday.
Speaking to a reporter for WDIV-TV in Detroit, the soul legend said of her personal connection to Franklin, “We shared the fact that we had the same disease.”
Some people took Knight’s comment to mean that she too had been diagnosed with cancer, which claimed Franklin’s life on August 16.
The Detroit News reached out to Knight’s publicist Javier Delgado for clarification on the comment.
“I’m not sure. Maybe she meant she feels her pain. But she does not have cancer,” Delgado said.
Please be sure to write , Gladys Knight’s publicist, issued this statement on her behalf.
On Saturday, Knight’s publicist, Jay Schwartz, issued a statement on her behalf in which she explains her statement.
“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,” says Knight in the statement. “Due to early detection, I am cancer free and grateful for that. 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.”
Franklin publicly acknowledged her pancreatic cancer diagnosis in 2010, living with the disease for nearly eight years, which is far longer than most with that particular kind of cancer.