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Are Reports of Aretha Franklin's Death a Hoax?

NEW YORK, NY - Aretha Franklin performs on stage at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Commemorates Its 25th Year And Honors Founder Sir Elton John During New York Fall Gala - Show at Cathedral of St. John the Divine on November 7, 2017 in New York City. (Nicholas Hunt/WireImage)

Aretha Franklin is very much alive, contrary to a certain trending item on the internet today which prompted messages from worried fans.

Earlier today, a Twitter account shared the "news" that Franklin had passed away.


"It Is With Sad News That We Announce The Passing Of The Queen Of Soul Aretha Franklin 1942-2017," the social media user behind @ArethaFranklinn wrote.

A quick inspection of the account reveals that the account is not affiliated with the famous Grammy Award-winning songstress at all. For starters, the account was created this month. For another, the account boasts only 54 followers. The official Twitter account for Franklin––that's @ArethaFranklin, with no double "n" for those of you are curious––boasts more than 90,000 followers, but has been completely active since March 2015.

Some people believed the hoax immediately.

Others were skeptical from the outset.

Former Access Hollywood host Shaun Robinson quickly put the rumors to rest, however. "Good Morning, Everyone," she wrote. "I just spoke to one of Ms. Franklin’s family friends in my hometown Detroit. They spoke to Aretha moments ago and asked me to tell you please don’t believe this news that was trending. Have a good day."

Rumors of Franklin's death have prevailed for years. In fact, in 2011, Franklin sat down with Robinson to squelch rumors that she was battling pancreatic cancer. "I don’t know where ‘pancreatic cancer’ came from. I was sitting there reading the newspaper and it was saying someone in my family said that. No one in my family ever said that to anybody," Franklin said at the time. (She did acknowledge, however, that she suffers from a litany of health issues.)

Earlier this year, Franklin canceled a series of concerts due to health reasons. She announced her official retirement from performing not long afterward, though she did say she plans to release one final album.

Representatives for Franklin could not be reached for comment.