Aretha Franklin gets candid about her battle with weight since she stopped smoking cigarettes in1992. â€œI was eating everything that I shouldnâ€™t have: chocolate, Coca-Cola, hot spicy foods, all of that was affecting my voice,â€ Franklin tells JET. â€œItâ€™s one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, lose the weight and the cigarettes.â€
â€œThereâ€™s no question about it,â€ she said. â€œI ballooned, like 40 going north.â€ However, Franklin assures her fans that she has â€œno weight-related illnessâ€ such as diabetes, but is concentrating on the issue to make sure she stays healthy.
Now with a new trainer and nutritionist, and a treadmill, Franklin is finding a new lease on life and is ready to debut her new CD titled Jewels in the Crown: All Star Duets With the Queen, slated for a Nov. 13 release. Franklin teams up with American Idol superstar Fantasia and
Grammy Award winner John Legend. â€œThis album shows why Aretha is in a class by herself,â€ says Clive Davis, chairman and CEO of BMG Label Group, who produced the album.
THE NOVEMBER 19, 2007 ISSUE OF JET IS ON SALE MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2007.