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Grammy Awards: Aretha Franklin promises to be at next year's Grammys

February 13, 2011 |  7:35 pm

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin made a surprise, taped appearance Sunday at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards, popping on screen after Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Martina McBride and more kicked off with a tribute to the Queen of Soul.

Grammy-pictures2 In her message, Franklin promised to be at the Grammys in 2012. She'd made her first public appearance in months on Friday, heading out to see a Cleveland Cavaliers basketball game with Rev. Jesse Jackson.

The diva in January debunked some rumors about her recent illness, which forced her to cancel six months' worth of performances. Franklin underwent surgery in December.

Without giving specifics about what had ailed her, Franklin told "Access Hollywood," "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."

"If you're a fan of Aguilera's hollering, this was golden," Todd Martens said of the tribute in his Pop & Hiss  mini-review, noting that the blond singer -- possibly seeking a shot at redemption after her Super Bowl fumble -- in one instance stretched the word "I" into nearly four syllables.

Florence Welch and Yolanda Adams rounded out the medley of Franklin tunes, which featured Hudson rocking a little "Respect."

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-- Christie D'Zurilla

Reuters contributed to this report.

Top photo: Aretha Franklin walks on the court with Jesse Jackson after the Detroit Pistons-Miami Heat basketball game in Michigan on Feb. 11, 2011. Credit: Paul Sancya / Associated Press

Right photo: Kelly Osbourne arrives at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 13, 2011. Credit: Danny Moloshok / Reuters

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