By Lia Haberman
Aretha Franklin is feeling like a natural woman again.
The Queen of Soul gave a thumbs-up to fans as she exited Detroit’s Sinai-Grace Hospital Wednesday, five days after being admitted for an allergic reaction to penicillin.
“Love you back,” Franklin said to the well-wishers outside the hospital. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, who turns 62 Thursday, will be able to celebrate at home.
“Hallelujah and glory to God!” Franklin said in a statement issued via her publicist. The singer said she plans on “taking it real easy” for her B-day. “I have special dishes that will be cooked and prepared for me.”
Franklin also thanked her doctor and the hospital staff, as well as all her fans and celebrity friends like Clive Davis and Chaka Khan (“for the gorgeous flowers”).
Franklin had been hospitalized since Saturday, after her blood-platelet count dropped significantly, her physician, Dr. Claude Young, told the local WXYZ-TV.
She was returning home Saturday from a concert when she complained of feeling ill.
“It was an allergic reaction to some antibiotics that she took just shortly before…and it gave her a rather severe reaction,” Young said.
He said the singer, who suffers from high-blood pressure, was subsequently put on medication that brought her platelet level back to normal.
But don’t expect this episode to sideline the “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” singer. “She is really doing well,” Young said, “and, of course, there is nothing thats lasting as far as we can tell at this time. It should be a one event type of illness, and that is it.”
The news put to rest initial speculation about Franklin’s health problems, which had centered around long-denied rumors of alcoholism (she filed a $50 million lawsuit against Star magazine in 2001 for claiming as much) and her battle against the bulge.
Franklin scaled back her performing schedule last year when she announced her farewell tour, Aretha Sings Her Musical History.
But it wasn’t curtains for the R&B diva who won a Grammy last month for Best Traditional R&B Performance for “Wonderful,” from her latest CD So Damn Happy.