AUBURN HILLS (WWJ/AP) – Looking thinner and in good spirits Aretha Franklin made what is believed to be her first public appearance since undergoing surgery for an undisclosed condition in December.
The Queen of Soul took in a Detroit Pistons/Miami Heat game at The Palace Friday night, sitting with Rev. Jesse Jackson in the second row.
Speaking with the Associated Press at halftime, Franklin said she hopes to resume her public schedule in May – probably at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
“Probably starting at Radio City, reschedule what I had to cancel,” she said.
Franklin announced in November that she would be canceling all concert dates and personal appearances through May on doctors’ orders.
Neither Franklin nor her publicist have said what was ailing the 68-year-old singer, but she was in good spirits Friday.
“I’m feeling really great,” she said. “Loving the game, loving the game.
At a break in play in the first quarter, the big screen above the court showed Franklin while a couple of her songs played over the P.A. system. She waved as the crowd cheered.
A few players visited with her and Jackson at the half.
When asked if she was at The Palace of Auburn Hills to watch James, Franklin seemed more impressed with LeBron’s teammate. Wade scored 16 points in the first half.
“I see Dwyane Wade,” she said. “He is really on tonight. Dwyane Wade is on tonight.”
Franklin is one of the most honored singers in American history, having won numerous Grammys, the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She also has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
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(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)